"There are millions of those little red plums over here, on and under the tree," she said. "They are ripe and sweet. If you want some, come and get them."
She didn't have to ask twice. We've enjoyed these early-ripening summertime plums for years now. They're about the size of large cherries, and they are a "freestone" vareity so they are easy to work with.
I went over there Sunday morning and picked — well, gathered — about three pounds of the plums. I say "gathered" because I picked them all up off the ground, and didn't take any off the tree.
Walt and I pitted them all. You can see they are red-skinned but yellow-fleshed. Pits from these plums are the ones I planted years ago, and now my plum tree is about as big as the one in the neighbors' yard. Problem is, the plums are not the same. These are better.
Walt made a simple tart with one batch of the plums. He rolled out a crust (pâte brisée, or short crust), sprinkled almond powder in the bottom, and arranged pitted plums in the shell to bake. I neglected to take a photo before we had eaten part of the tart.
I cooked the rest of the pitted plums with some sugar and vanilla to make a compote. It's not very sweet, and the tartness of the plums means that we can eat it as a sweet compote, with cream or yogurt and more sugar — or we can add vinegar and some spices to some it to make a plum sauce to serve with veal, chicken, rabbit, or turkey.