Plumcots and pluots are both hybrids of a plum and an apricot, and are relative newcomers to the summer stone fruit club. Plumcots, a 50-50 cross between plums and apricots, were developed by horticulturist Luther Burbank. The name “pluot” was trademarked by plant geneticist Floyd Zaiger, who originated the hybrid fruit (75% plum and 25% apricot) about 20 years ago.
Keep reading for more info & recipe ideas!
Both plumcots and pluots come in a wide array of colors, from deep purple to crimson, green and yellow. They all resemble plums in appearance and texture, but their hybridization with apricots results in a sweeter, less acidic and very flavorful fruit. Plumcots and pluots both have a higher Brix level (sugar content) than apricots, and their skins are less sharp and tannic than those of true plums. Thus, these delectable hybrids embrace the best qualities of both fruits.
Today there are more than 80 different varieties of pluots and plumcots grown in the US, most of which come from California. Some of our favorite varieties right now include:
- Dapple Dandy: Large size with mottled pale green, red-spotted skin, red or pink juicy flesh.
- Tropical Sunrise: Yellow to orange color skin with red blush and orange flesh, sweet plum and apricot flavors.
- Flavor Grenade: Large size, oblong shape with a red blush on green background, crisp, refreshing pineapple and juicy apple flavor.
How to Select & Store
Select firm, ripe fruit with a noticeably sweet fragrance that gives under gentle pressure. Avoid specimens with soft spots or damaged skin.
To ripen at home, store at room temperature in a loosely closed paper bag. Once they’re ripe, enjoy immediately for the best flavor or refrigerate loose fruit for up to 4 days. Ripe stone fruit is incredibly fragile, so never pile them on top of each other or they’ll bruise.
Tips For Enjoying & Recipes
Plumcots and pluots are super-sweet and fabulous eaten out of hand. They can stand in for plums or apricots in almost any recipe, and are delicious in baked goods, or as the base for fruit salsas or a piquant barbecue sauce. They add interest to couscous and salads, and make wonderful cobblers, crisps, ice creams and sorbets.
Try substituting plumcots or pluots in these stone fruit recipes: