Wild Plum Recipes
By Nadia Navarrete-Tindall
Nadia does Outreach and Education at Lincoln University and owns Native Plants and More, a consultation business. She lives in Columbia, MO and is originally from El Salvador.
There are 5 wild plums native to Missouri, according to Don Kurz -Trees of Missouri. The most common across Missouri is American plum (Prunus americana). Mexican wild plum (P. Mexicana) and chickasaw plum (P. angustifolia) are becoming more available commercially.
Wild Plum Recipes
Choose very ripe plums. They should be soft but not mushy and the color dark-purple as in the photo. Plums can be harvested while they are not completely ripe and sit on the counter for 2 to 5 days to ripen.
Wild plum juice
1.5 cup wild plums
Sugar to taste
1. Cook plums in a pan with 1 cup water to soften the skin. No more than 30 minutes. Let them cool.
2. Once cooled pureed the plums in a food processor, 3 to 5 minutes or until getting a smooth consistency. Be sure not to do it too long to avoid breaking the seeds. Discard seeds by hand.
3. Use a strainer to separate the skin and loose seeds from the juice.
4. Place the juice in a pitcher and add more water to get 7 to 8 cups of juice. Add sugar to taste.
*Because this juice has a lot of pulp, it can be frozen for 2 to 4 hours for a sorbet consistency. You can also make a slushy by adding ice instead of water.
This is a very refreshing and appetizing-looking drink.
Ripe plums and fresh plum juice by Nadia Navarrete-Tindall.
Wild plum tasty leather
2 ½ cups of wild plum pulp
½ cup sugar
Dehydrator to prepare the leather
1. Prepare the plums same as for the juice recipe but do not add more water to the puree.
2. Place the puree and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Reduce the heat to a low heat and stir it from time to time. Stir more often once the puree starts solidifying. Once the mixture is very thick and all the water has evaporated set it aside to cool it.
3. Place the wild plum puree on a dehydrator sheet. With a spatula spread the mixture to make it even. This mixture is enough to fill one sheet as shown in the photo.
4. Set the dehydrator to 135°F for 3 to 4 hours or until the puree is no longer sticky or moist. At this point the fruit leather is no longer sticky and can be taken out of the sheet.
5. Cut the leather in pieces and place it on wax or parchment paper for storage.
This is a tart and sweet snack that will make you think “Why didn’t I do this before?”
Makes 4 to 8 servings
Leather on dehydrator and bowl of ripe plums by Nadia Navarrete-Tindall.
Wild plum leather by Nadia Navarrete-Tindall.