Favorite Euro Plums


For plum butter, it’s less a recipe than a process. If you’ve made apple butter, the process is similar

I pit and split the plums, then cook on low with just enough liquid* to keep them from scorching until they’re soft enough to be pureed with the stick blender. Then I add say a cup of sugar to a pound of plums and cook very low, stirring to keep from scorching, until a spoonful stands up on a plate with no liquid seeping.

A slow cooker w/o the lid on works for this, but you still have to stir

I don’t add spices, want it to taste like plums

I water-bath can this, so I can’t speak to its shelf life without

*If you can the plums [I recommend] the canning liquid is good for this


Mrs. G.,
This is Empress which is very impressive witha size of an egg for a plum.
I took its pic with an egg, a Castleton plum, a mirabelle and a golf ball for a size comparison.


If you want large plum, Empress is large. Brix was 19 sweet but definitely tangy, too.


Mirabelle is still my favorite, then Reine claude and finally, Damson. :blush:


Mirabelle does taste like a little sugar balls. I am warming up to them.


That’s not a pitch pocket, is it. No hard tissue there, right?

I grow Empress and it is the number one nursery tree I offer for E. plums just because it is much more precocious and reliable than Valor. I like for prune plums to get into the '20’s and I’m really not sure yet if Empress is quite as sweet as Valor, but I suspect it’s about location- my Empress isn’t quite as good as Valor, but neither is its site. Actually it’s apparently dying for some mysterious reason along with a Bluebyrd in the same spot. I assume it’s weather related cambium damage.


No pitch pocket.

I can’t say how sweet it could be in a less wet year. This first one is not as sweet as my “ Valor” and has a tangy taste to it.


Five of my E plums dropped today so I took pics. From left to right:
Mirabelle Parfume de Septembre, French prune, Castleton, Middleburg and Coe’s Golden Drop.

@scottfsmith, My apology to you. I could not see the cracked French prunes inside the bread bags. As you can see, these are all split.


My favs are always your mirabelles, your jam goes out monday, please tell me what you think of the seedless blackberry. Also, because I added less sugar, the raspberry is a little bit runny. Don’t think my girl will mind! My brilliant girl! MrsG


We don’t have enough Mirabelle for jam this year. Just for fresh eating. We will try plum butter this year for prune plums.

Thank you very much for keeping us on your list :smile:


meant to direct this to mamuang


I was hoping Coe’s and Middleburg would be Oct. plums here. I still have Valors ripening on my trees. I love how they look though- they’ll be fantastic in a fruit basket- just look at the range of sizes, shapes and colors in that photo. Fantastic.

You have done such a good job in realizing the pleasure of growing a wide range of wonderful fruit. Congratulations- I’m happy for you.


That’s a beautiful display of plums Tippy! How would you rank them against each other in terms of flavor?


It is hard to rank but overall from the pic, but here are my preferences:
Coe’s Golden Drop - sweet, flavorful and large
French Improved - sweet and flavorful but smaller than Coe’s
Mirabelle Parfume de Septembre, very sweet - like candy, small in size
Castleton - sweet and plumey with some tangy taste at times
Middleburg- so far has not gotten the right flavor or sweetness.

I also had Valor, nice and sweet and Empress, very large, meaty, good but not as sweet as others.

I still have Vision and President and Mirabelle de Nancy to be tasted.


Yay the mirabelle made the list!!!


It has grown on me and if I goes by sweetness alone, it probably #1 because it is consistently sweet. In a wet year like this, most were affected ( sweetness and flavor) by excessive water but Mirabelle still keeps its high sugar.

But today, one of the Coe’s had brix at 27.


Thanks for the comparison Tippy! I read a lot of good things about Coe’s Golden Drop, so I was curious if you would rate it highly against all of your other plums. Also, I did not realize it was that large until I saw your photo. Likewise, I have heard good things about the Mirabelles. Have you tried Pearl?


My Middleburgs ripen almost a month after Coe’s. About half of them are still on the tree. They should be dark purple, those don’t look ripe yet.

This year mine are not as good as they usually are, I think all the rain plus not enough thinning did them in.


I think I have Pearl grafted. I grafted quite a few this year. I don’t have a refined taste and am not good at describing it, either. I can only tell you if it is sweet, sour, bland, etc. nothing complicated. In addition, I don’t have a lot of experience eating E plums. I rely on Scott Smith’s report.

@scottfsmith- Thanks, Scott. Yes, they all have that color at the moment. Middleburg in the pics must have dropped prematurely.

My Coe’s are starting to ripen. They sould all ripen by the end of Sept. So, Middleburg will ripen close to Halloween. Maybe, this is the plums @alan wants, a late E plum.


I think on a sunnier year you will find all the better E. plums get more than adequate sugar. This has been a great year to test varieties under adverse conditions. Right now we’ve stopped getting much light or heat- 3 days of grey for a day of sun. I’m guessing that is your weather there.

What rootstock are your plums on?