Just as we prepare to say goodbye to summer -- and its bounty of plump fruit -- these enticing plums make their way to farmers' markets. "It's a little bittersweet in sentiment, but I love to use these and make summer last as long as possible," Living food editor Sarah Carey says. One of the last stone fruits of the season, Italian prune plums are typically available from mid-August to September. With a slight tang and less juice than other plums, they're great fresh or cooked down, the heat concentrating their flavor. Try these simple, fast recipes to give summer a sweet send-off.
Look for unblemished, smooth dark-purple skin with a powdery coat. The fruit should be firm but yield to gentle pressure.
Keep prune plums at room temperature until ripe. Then refrigerate them for up to three days.
Unlike the pits of many other plums, the ones in these are freestone, which means they detach easily from the flesh: Cut into the fruit along the "seam," twist the halves apart, and remove the pit.