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Best in season: Plums

Sharp, sweet and at their best by the late summer, British plums are a real treat for September. Add one to your lunchbox or a pack to your fruit bowl and savour them on their own, or try them one of our tasty recipes

Perhaps we’re biased, but we think that homegrown plums just taste better. This month, they'll be perfectly plump and ripe with a juicy, honeyed sweetness that’s full of mellow sunshine flavours. Fruit grower John Myatt has been supplying M&S with plums for more than 15 years, from his farm on Kent’s Hoo Peninsula.

He explains what makes his fruit extra special: "We pride ourselves on the fact that we always ripen our plums fully on the tree, which means the sugars are enhanced, giving a more mature fruit with a sweeter taste and bags of flavour.

"We prune the trees to allow maximum light to reach the fruit; and we pick it at its very last stage of maturity, at the precise moment it’s at its best." British plums are a joy eaten straight from the punnet or in a fresh salad (see our recipe below for inspiration), but cooking really brings out their flavour and heightens their acidity. They can be poached, baked, sautéed, you name it. Try them roasted alongside slow-cooked pork or duck breasts as a tangy accompaniment or give John's favourite dish a go: "Plum crumble… without a doubt."

Best in season: Plums

Recipe: Roast maple plums on waffles with bacon

  • COOK: 40 min
  • SERVING
    620 cal
  • EFFORT
    Easy
Roast maple plums on waffles with bacon recipe

Nutritional info per serving

  • Calories:620
  • Fat:29g (12.8g saturated)
  • Carbohydrates: 26.8g
  • Sugar: 25.2g
  • Fibre: 4.3g
  • Protein: 21.7g
  • Salt: 2.73g
 

Ingredients


SERVES 4


6 ripe plums, halved and stoned
2 tbsp maple syrup, plus extra to serve
15g salted butter
8 rashers smoked, streaky bacon

For the waffles:
3 large eggs, separated
190g wholegrain spelt flour
1½ tsp baking powder
30g salted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
1½ tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp milk
300ml low-fat, natural yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract


Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Put the plums in an ovenproof dish, cut-side up. Drizzle with syrup, add 60ml water and dot the fruit with butter. Roast for 15 minutes, or until the plums are soft and caramelised but keep their shape. Cook the bacon in the oven for seven to eight minutes until crisp.
  2. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. In a second bowl, combine the flour and baking powder. In a jug, mix the melted butter with the egg yolks, syrup, milk, yogurt and vanilla extract. Gradually pour this into the flour mixture, mixing until smooth and thick. Gently fold in the stiff egg whites with a large, metal spoon.
  3. Make the waffles in a waffle iron. Alternatively, make pancakes in a large, greased frying pan, adding small ladles of batter with room for it to spread. Turn after one to two minutes.
  4. Serve the waffles or pancakes layered with the bacon and topped with the plums and a drizzle of syrup.

See more breakfast recipes

Buttermilk
plum cake

Berries and citrus fruits might be commonplace in cake recipes, but in-season plums also make a juicy alternative. This soft sponge cake topped with sliced plums would make a great addition to afternoon tea or as a sunday treat. Try it with whipped cream mixed with a dash of brandy and a sprinkle of icing sugar and it doubles as a simple dinner party pudding, too.

 

See the cake recipe

Recipe: Plum, mozzarella and tomato salad
with basil dressing

  • COOK: 20 min
  • SERVING
    367 cal
  • EFFORT
    Easy
 Plum, mozzarella and tomato salad with basil dressing recipe

Nutritional info per serving

  • Calories:367
  • Fat:30.9g (10.9g saturated )
  • Carbohydrates: 9.5g
  • Sugar: 9.5g
  • Fibre: 3.2g
  • Protein: 14g
  • Salt: 0.65g
 

Ingredients


SERVES 4


A handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped, with some whole
leaves reserved
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
4 ripe plums, halved, stoned and sliced into wedges
550g ripe tomatoes, halved or quartered
2 x 125g mozzarella balls, drained and roughly torn
30g pine nuts, lightly toasted


Method

  1. To make the dressing, whizz the chopped basil in a food processor with the olive oil, half the lemon juice, two tbsp water and a good pinch each of salt and pepper.
  2. Toss the plums and tomatoes in the remaining lemon juice, then spread out on a serving platter with the mozzarella, pine nuts and reserved basil leaves. Season lightly and drizzle with the dressing.

See more Autumn recipes

FOOD INSPIRATION

Plum and peach pie recipe

Plum and peach pie

Match our pick of this month's fruit with another of Britain's best - ripe peaches, with this sweet recipe

Try the plum pie recipe

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