Wild Plum Recipes
American wild plums (Prunus americana) are one of the most bountiful wild fruits I harvest, and a must-know for foragers. There's a number of varieties found across North America, but I focus on P. americana.
If you're new to this fruit, please read my post Foraging and Cooking with Wild Plums
Tannic Taste of the Skin
Prunus americana is very different from cultivated varieties. The most important things to know are that the skins are very tough and tannic. If the fruit is cooked whole, the flesh will become tannic and unpleasant.
Prunus americana is notorious for uneven ripening. If you pick some and they feel hard and taste tannic, treat them like any other stone fruit and allow them to ripen in a paper bag. Some may discolor, but many will ripen to the stage you want.
How to Process
I use a special technique to process the fruit without activating the mouth-drying tannins. Here's what I do:
Warm the fruit in an oven at 250 F for a few minutes, just until they're warm to the touch. Remove the fruit from the oven, then mash them up in a colander, pressing the paste around to push the pulp through the holes.
Make sure to save the leftover stones and skins for making homemade vinegar.