Beach Plum – Prunus maritima

Beach Plum fruit
Beach Plum fruit

This perennial small plum is native to North America’s mid-Atlantic coastal region, stretching from Maine to Maryland where it grows on the sand dunes. Many wild animals, including deer, find it irresistible. The fruit, although relatively small, can be eaten straight from the tree or cooked into pies, jams, jellies, or even dried for later use.

The plant produces a green dye from the leaves, and a dark gray to green dye from the fruit.

In 1973 Elizabeth Post Mirel published a small cookbook dedicated to the Beach Plum. It was called Plum Crazy.

 

Beach Plum Cordial

From an NPR article by Elspeth Pierson (Taming the Wild Beach Plum)

Makes roughly 2 quarts

 

1 quart perfectly ripe beach plums, washed

2 1/2 cups sugar

1-quart vodka

Combine all ingredients in a sterile jar. Set the jar aside in a cool, dark place and give it a good shake every few weeks. Let the cordial stand at least until Christmas — or about 4 months. If you can wait, it will be even better in February or March. When you’re ready to drink it, strain the fruit and pits out, and serve it plain or with a splash of champagne.

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