Apricots are a short-lived treat, appearing locally mainly in June and July. But plums are a hardier stone fruit, ripening well into November. As a result, pluots—those gorgeous offspring of plums and apricots—are available through September as a last sweet taste of summer.
Created in the 20th century by a plant geneticist named Floyd Zaiger, pluots most closely resemble their plum parentage. They tend to be a bit sweeter than many plums, though, thanks to the higher sugar content of their apricot heritage.
K&J Orchards in Winters have several varieties of pluots at market now, including such evocative names as Dapple Fire, Crimson Heart and Flavor Grenade. The pluots often have a marbled look to the skin, and may be a bit larger than plums. Happily, they’re not as fragile as apricots, although you’ll want to eat them all immediately, rather than keeping them for later. The flavors are bright, slightly tart, and full of juiciness. Try them alone or paired with a creamy cheese or dipped in yogurt. They also make a stunning display in a tart.