What to Do with Plums That Are Not Sweet (10 Ideas)

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What to Do with Plums That Are Not Sweet?

Plums are one of the summer’s most incredible treats, but the sad truth is that occasionally you will get a batch that isn’t sweet. This can leave you scratching your head as to what to do with your fruit. Rest easy. This guide will give you ten ideas for what to do with plums that are not sweet.

What to Do with Plums That Are Not Sweet (10 Ideas)

  • Eat Them

green plums

When most of us in the United States think of eating plums, we envision sweet summer fruit, but green or sour plums are a common snack food in much of the world. You can dip them in salt or sugar and simply nibble on them throughout the day. 

Though they can be extremely tart, sour plums are surprisingly refreshing.

  • Sour Plum Molasses

plum molasses

This sour plum sauce is a staple in Persian cuisine. Used to brighten a wide variety of dishes, sour plum molasses is especially noted for its use on kebabs. It is simple to make, though time-consuming, but it is well worth the effort.

Simmer your plums for an hour in just enough water to cover them in a pan. Then mash your sour plums through a strainer, trying to save as much of the juice and pulp as possible. Then add molasses and simmer once more till you reach your desired consistency.  

In Iran, it is traditionally made using very immature fruits and has a very tart taste, but you can adjust the flavor to your liking by adding ripper fruits.  

  • Plum Compote 

plum compote

Plum Compote is a delicious and straightforward way to use plums that are not sweet. 

  1. Wash, pit, and quarter your plums. 
  2. In a saucepan, combine water, sugar, lemon juice, and a touch of cinnamon. 
  3. Bring to a low simmer until the sugar dissolves, and add your plums. 
  4. Cook on low heat for 7-10 minutes or until the fruit starts to break down. 

Plum Compote is wonderful as a topping for waffles, pancakes, yogurt, ice cream, etc.

  • Tkemali – Plum Sauce

Tkemali plum sauce

Tkemali is a savory plum sauce ubiquitous in Georgia, the country, not the state, like ketchup, is in the U.S. 

Georgians produce it by cooking down sour plums with a mixture of:

  • Coriander Seed
  • Fennel Seed
  • Garlic 
  • Cayenne
  • Salt
  • Fresh Mint
  • Cilantro

In its homeland, Tkemali is used as a glaze for grilled food and beans, added as seasoning to steamed and stewed vegetables, and brushed on grilled everything. 

  • Tart Jams

tart jams

The English have enjoyed tart jams (marmalade) for centuries, but they are pretty rare to see in the United States. Jams are fruits, complete with their pectin that is sweetened and cooked down or thickened. You control the amount of sugar added, making them ideal for using tart or sour plums.  

  • Candied Fruits

plum syrup

Tart plums are excellent for candying. You can leave the skins on or remove them as you please. All you have to do to candy plums is warm, simple syrup at very low heat in a saucepan. Then place your plums in the pan and cook them until they begin to soften. Once done to the desired consistency, strain off the syrup and allow plums to dry.

A bonus to making plum candies is that you now have plum syrup for teas, cocktails, or to be used on pancakes. 

  • Baking Plum Cakes And Pastries

plum upside-down cake

If you have less than sweet plums, baking is one of the best uses you can put them to. Whether your taste runs more towards a plum upside-down cake or plum Danish, any baking recipe where you can adjust the sweetener content is an ideal way to utilize your plums without the pucker factor. 

  • Plum Syrup 

Plum syrup is tasty on pancakes, waffles, as a topping for ice cream, or used in cocktails, and is simple to make. 

  • Place a cheesecloth (preferred) or fine mesh in a large pot and fill with washed plums. Cover fruits with water and boil for 90 minutes adding water if needed. 
  • Remove the cheesecloth and allow juices to drain back into the pot. 
  • Squeeze gently to rove as much juice as possible and discard the plums.
  • Add sugar to the juices and simmer till your syrup is thickened to your liking.
  • Use tart plums to add zing to smoothes.

plum smoothie

Plums are a great addition to smoothies but, depending on your taste, TART plums can be magnificent. Sour plums still bring that fruity flavor but add the same refreshing touch you get from green apples and sour cherries.

  • Plum Applesauce

Plum applesauce is a beautiful addition to muffins, oatmeal, or pancakes and is very healthy.

To prepare, simply place your apples and pitted plums in a slow cooker, cover with water, and set your crockpot on low. Allow the fruit to cook for 6 hours or until everything is very soft. 

Use an immersion blender to puree your fruit, adding a touch of cinnamon if desired. As an alternative, you can transfer your fruit to a blender to pulverize. In either case, don’t over blend, or your sauce will liquify.