With their sweet flesh and slightly bitter skin, plums are ideal in all manner of recipes from vibrant summer salads to sweet-savoury mains and indulgent bakes.

 

MARTHA’S ROASTED PLUM, FETA & ISRAELI COUSCOUS SALAD

This celebrates the vibrancy of colour in roasted plums – salty feta and golden cauliflower meet nutty giant couscous and sticky plums in this moreish bowl

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PAN-FRIED PORK WITH PLUM SAUCE

This recipe is low in saturated fat and can be on the table in 20 minutes. Only cook the plums until they soften and don’t allow them to become mushy. The timing will depend on how ripe they are

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MARTHA’S SPICED LAMB & PLUM TAGINE

The tagine’s meaty juices are absorbed by the plums until they burst and blend into the sauce, creating a luscious gravy for the melt-in-your-mouth lamb. Serve with buttered couscous and a herby side salad

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OLIA HERCULES' BEETROOT, PLUM & CHILLI SALAD

Chef, food writer and stylist Olia Hercules took inspiration for this recipe from summer picnics by the river in her native Ukraine.  

‘The first time I tried beetroot in a tart plum sauce was in Georgia,’ says Olia. I’ve loved this combination since. It’s sweet and sour, pleasantly bitter from chicory and a little spicy from the chilli.’

Olia’s latest book, Summer Kitchens (Bloomsbury; £26) is out now. 

 

ROASTED PLUMS WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM

Roasting plums intensifies their flavour and creates gorgeous juices to drizzle over. Serve as a dessert with ice cream or spoon over Greek yogurt for a breakfast treat.

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TRAYBAKED BERRY MERINGUE

This indulgent dessert can be made with any stone fruit but is particularly good with plums whose natural acidity contrasts with the sweet meringue.

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PLUM AND CUSTARD LOAF CAKE

This traditional loaf cake combines the classic flavours of plum and almond with a sweet custard icing. It’s lovely with a cup of tea.

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MARTHA’S TIPS

Great British Bake Off star Martha Collison shares her plum know-how

KNOW IT’S RIPE

A ripe plum is a thing of beauty: sweet, succulent and juicy.

Be sure to wait until your plums are at optimum ripeness before baking or cooking with them, or you’ll likely have a sour surprise.

They should give a little when squeezed and have a nice aroma when they are at their best. Store them at room temperature to ripen properly and to maximise their flavour.

 

DESTONING 

When it comes to removing plum pits, they can be fairly stubborn.

Run a sharp knife all the way around the circumference of the plum, following the seam.

Use your hands to twist the plum so that you end up with two halves. If you need intact plum halves, use a teaspoon to scoop out the stone at this point. If not, take the half with the pit attached and repeat the slice and twist motion, slicing perpendicular to the last cut.

Keep going until you can easily lift out the pit.