Friday, July 17, 2009

Mirabelles for a rainy day

Clouds over Lecco

Temporary? or here for the rest of the day? I really couldn't tell at 7:30 this morning, but by 11am, the heavens parted to let the light shine through. Fortunately, just a tiny bit of hail, even if I had moved the more fragile potted plants under shelter. Whew! These days the local weather page is the first thing that I check each morning, almost to the point where it has become an obsession (and ultimately, worrisome overreaction). Case in point: yesterday we picked what mirabelle plums that seemed ripe enough, even if the color wasn't a dark yellow color like it should be. I was already sick to my stomach at the thought of the plums getting hit with more hail, so I told my husband, it's plum pickin' time! Heck, I knew that it wouldn't be more than a couple of handfuls. In theory it always sounds moderately acceptable when you tell yourself that fruit can ripen on the table, but I know that nothing beats tree-ripened fruit.

Mirabelle plum pickin'

Of course it was a milestone event because we were told that there would be a wait of 2-3 years before the tree was ready to bear fruit. We purchased this Mirabelle de Nancy plum tree in 2007 (at a nursery in Milan) after having discovered them in Alsace one summer. They are very sweet and juicy, in the shape and size of a cherry, and I've read somewhere that the flavor is similiar to greengages.

Homegrown mirabelle plums

Not supermarket perfect, but 100% organic nevertheless. The color is more chartreuse...probaby a few days shy from obtaining the deep yellow like we had seen in France. We tasted a few and they were so delicious even with a hint of tartness. The rest were pitted, quartered, and baked in a short pastry crust with sugar. With softly whipped cream they were simply sublime!

Mirabelle tarts

Yesterdays high: 29°C / 84°F
Today's average: 25°C / 77°F


  1. What a fine pleasure. Eating those plums from your garden! I want, need a garden!

  2. You sure know how to make my mouth water. I love plums and would love to taste that variety. Your pastry looks wonderful.

  3. Amber, Gail - my only other hands on experience with plums were the ones that grew wild in the mountains of Kokee on Kauai. Smallish, dark sweet gems, I knew that when I had a home of my own, I would just have to put a plum tree in the yard!

  4. Perfecto! Those look fantastic. Supermarket produce only looks good. It tastes like nothing.

    My fruit trees are only a year old and I'm surprised to see 5 peaches and 2 apples. Not much; but you gotta start somewhere.

  5. Maybelline - amen to that, even if whenever there's a gorgeous display of fruit or vegs, I find it so irresistible to pass up. It took every ounce of willpower yesterday when I saw the most perfect round zucchini at the supermarket. Now I'll be looking forward to the ones in my garden even more!

  6. Complimenti, on both fruit and tarts. They look gorgeous!


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