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."
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
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.
A handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped, with some whole
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
Match our pick of this month's fruit with another of Britain's best - ripe peaches, with this sweet recipe
From porcelain to contemporary silicone, our bakeware will enhance your home and give you picture-perfect bakes