Plum-inspired recipes perfect for autumn

Posted by Chloe Cowley on 9 March 2022

As autumn begins to settle in, it is time to make the most of the last plums of the season. These comforting recipes showcase their sweet and juicy goodness. Even as the season comes to a close, the colourful and flavourful summer stone fruits will be on the shelves well into April for us to enjoy.

Plums are packed with nutrients and antioxidants and have less sugar than many other fruits. When looking to buy the perfect plums, look for firm, brightly coloured fruit and make sure they ripen to develop their full sweetness before you tuck in.

Plums are delicious when eaten alone but also add fabulous seasonal colours and flavours to autumn desserts. Give TV Chef Justine Drake’s delicious simple citrus poached plums recipe a try, best served with a dollop of something rich and creamy.

Or, try yummy plummy bread and butter pudding, an autumn twist on a South African favourite by Chef Jenny Morris.

If you would prefer a plant-based, gluten and guilt-free alternative, then try the vegan plum sponge cake by Charlotte Roberts from Charley’s Health blog. It is sweet, fluffy and studded with vibrant plums.

Plums also make a tasty marinade for sticky ribs. Food writer Karen Hart’s spicy Chinese plum sauce recipe will add that extra zing to your braai meat.

Simple citrus poached plums 

By Chef Justine Drake


2 cups (500ml) water

1 cup (250ml) fresh orange juice

½ cup (125ml) sugar

Peel of 1 lemon

Peel 1 orange

1 cinnamon stick

6 whole plums, halved and stoned


1. Combine water, juice, sugar, citrus peel and cinnamon stick in a saucepan.

2. Stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves.

3. Poach plums in the syrup for 20-25 minutes or until tender.

4. Remove plums from the syrup and slip off their skins.

5. Boil syrup to reduce by half.

6. Serve plums with vanilla ice cream, yoghurt or thick cream and a scattering of toasted flaked almonds.

Yummy plummy bread and butter pudding 

By Chef Jenny Morris

(Serves 4)


10 slices of stale white bread, crusts removed and buttered on both sides

2 heaped Tbsp of strawberry jam

Zest and juice of one lemon

6 large plums stoned and chopped into small pieces

350ml milk

125ml cream

2 large eggs

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp caster sugar

Extra caster sugar for sprinkling

Flaked almonds (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

2. Cut the buttered bread into triangles.

3. Place the jam, lemon zest and juice along with the plums into a saucepan, bring to the boil and remove from the heat.

4. Arrange half the bread in a baking dish, spoon over the plum mixture and cover with the remaining bread.

5. Whisk together the milk, cream, eggs cinnamon and caster sugar. Pour it over the bread and let the pudding stand for 30 minutes before baking.

6. Sprinkle over the caster sugar and almonds if you are using them.

7. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the custard has just set and the top is golden brown.

8. Remove from the oven and dust with icing sugar. Serve warm with whipped cream or great blobs of vanilla ice cream.

Vegan plum sponge cake 

By Charlotte Roberts from Charley’s Health blog.


1 cup plus 2 Tbsp caster sugar or coconut palm sugar

¾ cup vegan butter

1 cup oat milk

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 ¾ cups gluten free self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 plums chopped into small chunks


3 Tbsp vegan stick butter

1 cup icing sugar

3 Tbsp cocoa powder

5 plums for topping


1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C and lightly grease a loose bottom cake tin with vegan butter.

2. Combine the milk and cider vinegar together and set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream together the vegan butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

3. Whisk in the milk mixture then stir in the dry ingredients until smooth.

4. Fold through your diced plums and transfer your cake batter into the cake tin.

5. Pop this into the oven for 40-45 minutes, until a skewer can be removed clean from the cake.

6. Allow to cool a little, then remove the cake tin and leave to finish cooling on a wire rack.

7. For the frosting, beat the butter to a pale and fluffy consistency, then gradually add in the sugar and cocoa.

8. Once smooth, spread over the cake and layer on your sliced plums

Spicy Chinese plum sauce 

By Karen Hart

(Makes 1 litre)


2kg ripe plums

5-6 medium sized onions chopped

Cloves from 1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped

20cm fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1 cup soy sauce

4 cups apple cider vinegar

4 red chillies, deseeded and chopped

5 cups brown sugar

6 stars anise, ground


1. Cut the plums in half and remove the stones.

2. Put all the ingredients, except the sugar and star anise in a large saucepan or preserving pan.

3. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until or the ingredients are very soft. Pass the ingredients through a mouli or course sieve and return to the cleaned saucepan or preserving pan.

4. Add the sugar and star anise and bring back to the boil, stirring frequently to ensure that the sugar dissolves.

5. Simmer for an hour until the mixture is thick and creamy.

6. Pour the sauce into sterilised bottles and seal with vinegar-proof lids.

Feel inspired by following @juicydelicioussa on Instagram, or visit their website for more tempting stone fruit recipes.

Pictures: Supplied


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