Fruit hybrids have been around for ages and today we'd like to focus on one particular fruit in season all summer long: the pluot. This sweet and delicious stone fruit is great eaten fresh but also makes a great base for pies, crisps, smoothies and even salads.
What is a pluot fruit?
This hybrid fruit is three parts plum and one part apricot, hence its name. They may look like plums on the outside but on the inside they have the flesh of an apricot.
The story behind the pluot
To understand the pluot one must first talk about its predecessor: the plumcot, a fruit hybrid that is half-plum and half-apricot. Plumcots date back to the late 19th century and were the brainchild of Luther Burbank, a famous horticulturist who lived in Santa Rosa, California.
Burbank, who was friends with Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, developed more than 800 new varieties of plants in his career, according to the organisation named in his honour. When the talented plant breeder died in 1926 the plumcot's journey was far from over.
Image via Johann Bryggare
During the following decades, other plant breeders continued experimenting with the plumcot to make it easier to cultivate. One of those people was Floyd Zaiger, owner of Zaiger Genetics.
Zaiger released a new plum and apricot hybrid in the 1980s, according toSF Gate. This time the fruit was 75 percent plum and 25 percent apricot. Its name? The pluot.
Many varieties of pluots exist and while they are not exactly three-quarters plum, one-quarter apricot, it is safe to say they are mostly plum.
Some of the most popular varieties of pluots are:
Pluot vs. plums
Plums and pluots each have over 20 varietals with variations in size, color, and sweetness. Pluots look a lot like plums but taste much sweeter thanks to the infusion of apricot genes. Both plum and pluot skin is quite smooth. However, pluot flesh is more similar to that of an apricot, thus making them ideal for cooking as they hold together better while sauteing or baking.
Pluots contain a good amount of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. They not only give you an immune boost but also help you stay regular.
Calories of a pluot
A medium-sized pluot has about 80 calories and 1 gram of protein.
How to eat a pluot: recipe ideas
When fresh, pluots are to be consumed just like any other stone fruit: take a bite and enjoy! However, this gorgeous fruit is incredibly versatile and can be transformed into jams, sorbets, pies, crumbles, and makes a great addition to salads. Let's take a look at some fun recipes with pluots.
Pluot ice cream sundaes
A pluot sauce elevates vanilla ice cream to heavenly status. Simply cook the pluots with a touch of sugar. Topping the ice cream sundae with almond brittle makes this the ultimate summer treat. Entertaining with Beth shows you how to make it.
Cover blanched, sliced almonds with liquefied sugar and form a brittle. Then break the brittle into small pieces.
Soften sliced pluots in a skillet with sugar and water. Once the mixture has reduced and has become a syrup, add a teaspoon of almond extract or amaretto.
Place 1-2 scoops of vanilla ice cream in a glass or bowl with the warm pluot mixture. Sprinkle the brittle on top to serve.
Do you love French cuisine? Use pluots instead of plums to make a tasty clafoutis to serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Put pitted and halved pluots in four greased flan dishes with the skin side resting on the dish.
Whisk eggs, coconut palm sugar, coconut milk, vanilla, margarine, and cornflour together in a mixing bowl. Pour over the pluots in the flan dishes.
Bake the clafoutis at 190 C | 375 F for 20 minutes. Serve warm with soya yoghurt, ice cream, or whipped cream.
Pluots can be combined with just about any fruit to produce a delectable smoothie. Try adding a chopped pluot to any of these easy smoothie recipes.
Thinly sliced pluots tossed with sugar and cinnamon make for an addictive pie. This recipe from the Avant-gartist will help you make a pluot pie from scratch.
Combine all purpose flour, sugar, salt, cold butter, and ice-cold water in a blender and pulse. Form the dough into a disk, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Take sliced pluots, dry them well, and coat with cinnamon sugar and flour.
Form dough into two 12-inch circles. Place one in a pie dish, with the filling on top, and the second over the filling.
Create an egg wash with an egg and water and brush the top of the pie crust with it.
Bake for 45 minutes at 190 C | 375 F. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Salad with pluots
If you enjoy sweet and savoury flavour combos you'll want to add sliced or chopped pluots to your salads. They are especially delicious when combined with chicken, nuts, arugula, and salty cheeses such as feta.
Hungry for more?
If you are curious about other rare plums, we invite you to check out our guide to umeboshi plums from Japan.
Should the Michelin Guide continue to award stars to Singapore's hawker stalls? Do Singaporeans really care what the Red Guide says about their favourite street food? Singaporean food writer Evelyn Chen shares her point of view.