Well, the plums have certainly arrived unlike last year. I foraged some growing by the brook near our house last week and then found the 3 trees at the allotment heavily laden too. Sadly, many of the first fully ripe ones picked turned out to be well occupied by plum tree moth maggots, and the brown flecks a quick Google search told me was the excrement of said maggot. Think I’d rather not have known! Especially as I’ve probably used similarly afflicted plums in jam before.
Anyway, seems the key is to pick them slightly underripe and ripen at home as it only seems to be the ripe ones that are affected so today picked 2 carrier bags full of slightly underripe plums, plus enough ripe ones to stew for tea and try out in the dehydrator.
For drying out to make prunes, which my son absolutely loves, I used the fully ripe plums, all cut in half so I could discard any maggoty ones. They’ve been in the dehydrator for a couple of hours so far but seems they could take as long as a couple of days as they are rather large, so will see how they turn out.
Rest will be left to ripen a little more while I decide what to do with them – freezer, jam, may try bottling but I’m going to have a go with some blackberries first as haven’t tried this before and only have a couple of small jars left after all the blackberry vodka I’ve got filling the kilner jars.