Plums shine in desserts and baked products, whether in sorbet or upside-down cake to pie, but they may also star in cocktails, salads, and with grilled meats. They’re a favorite fruit for all the right reasons.
Any recipe with plums has a distinct plum flavor that enhances the overall flavor of the dish. But what if your recipe calls for plums that aren’t in season? Dried types like prunes and cherries give a no-frills go-to for any plum recipe in the middle of winter.
Characteristic Plum Flavor
The plum fruit’s flavor ranges from sweet to tart, with the skin being particularly tart. It’s delicious and may be eaten straight from the tree or used in jams and other recipes. The genus Prunus includes plums, which are linked to almonds and peaches. Plums come in hundreds of types. The European and Japanese plum types are the most popular. Plums, on the other hand, are only accessible from May to September. What should you do if you want to cook a recipe that calls for plums?
Best Plum Fruit Substitutes
We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common and readily accessible plum replacements that are similar in flavor to the real thing.
A jar of fresh plum jam in winters transports you back to summer’s bounty. Apricots and plucots (hybrids of a plum and an apricot) are also delicious in jams, jellies, and preserves.
Apricots, one of the first stone fruits to appear, with a fleshy texture and a sweet and tangy flavor. They’re ideal for jams and preserves because their texture swiftly deteriorates once removed from the tree. If you happen to come across some ripe apricots, you can use them in place of plums in any jam recipe. Use more apricots than your plum recipes call for, as this sister fruit might be half the size, or make apricot preserves instead.
For Savory Dishes
The duck, pork, and beef dishes are all delicious with a spray of sweet sauce on top. Cooking meat in a fruity sauce can add sweetness and softness to the finished result. Replace prunes (which are simply dried plums) or figs in slow-cooked recipes like beef brisket. Both are readily available at the supermarket, and the long cooking period will break them down and sweeten your main dish. Because dried fruit has a higher sugar content than fresh plums, use less of it in your dishes.
Grilled pork chops aren’t complete without a sweet and tangy sauce in the summer. So, if your sauce calls for plums but you only have peaches on hand, a straight across-the-board substitution will suffice. Peaches also provide a pleasing presentation to your finished dinner dish with their golden yellow color. Duck is rarely served without a fruit chutney or glaze, and plums go so well with duck.
Other duck and fruit combinations are also delicious. So why not just replace the entire recipe? Duck l’orange or roasted duck, tubers (like potatoes), and figs can all be used in place of the plum glazed duck. Both are crowd-pleasing options.
Plums and cherries or blueberries, which may be substituted in any pie recipe that asks for plums, provide the appropriate amount of sweetness with a “just tart enough” aftertaste in pies and tortes or on a sauce to top ice cream.
To get the appropriate proportions, make sure you measure the fruit by weight. Peaches or nectarines can be used in place of plums in a dessert sauce. Because the fruit sizes are more similar and sauces aren’t an exact science, you don’t have to worry about the measurements as much. Furthermore, any stone fruit sauce can be eaten for breakfast as well as dessert.
Best Plum Extract Substitutes
You don’t have to be concerned if you’re looking for a plum extract replacement that isn’t as readily available as other fruit extracts. Numerous plum extract replacements can be used in recipes that call for plum extract.
Bean Paste with Brown Sugar
Plum extract often has a sweet and somewhat salty flavor characteristic. If you run short, a mixture of brown sugar and bean paste will suffice. It’ll have the same consistency and flavor as the original. Make a mixture of bean paste, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and five-spice powder for the finest results. Blend until smooth, and you’ll have a delectable plum extract alternative that tastes almost comparable to the real thing.
Although it may appear that plum extract solely comprises plums, it actually contains a variety of other substances, including garlic. As a result, garlic teriyaki sauce is one of the greatest plum extract substitutes. Combine teriyaki sauce, molasses, red wine vinegar, minced garlic cloves, five-spice powder, and canned or cooked kidney beans to make your own garlic teriyaki. Blend until you have a sauce that has a similar flavor and consistency to plum extract.
Prunes and Garlic
Garlic and prunes combined make an excellent plum extract replacement. Pitted prunes should be cooked until tender and soft. Add soy sauce, garlic cloves, and a substantial amount of dry sherry once the vegetables are tender. Blend till you have a paste that is far more plum-like than you could have imagined.
Now that you know the best plum substitutes, you’ll never find yourself with a roadblock when following a recipe that requires you to use plums.
See more: Where Do Plums Grow in the World? | When Do You Plant Plums? When is the Plum Season? | How Long Does it Take for Plums to Grow? | Do Squirrels Eat Plums? How to Prevent? | Do Plums Need to be Refrigerated?