I was picking my son up from my friend Jill’s house the other day when I noticed a tree with small fruit on it in her front yard. I’ve seen the tree hundreds of times, but I never noticed fruit on it before. I asked what the tree was. Jill told me it was a plum tree. She said that every year, she uses some of the plums, but many of them fall to the ground and become food for the animals or go to waste.

Then she said what I was hoping to hear. I’m welcome to come pick them when they get bigger. I immediately started finding plum recipes when I got home. Here are five that caught my attention.

Plum Tart – Reviewers rave about this Ina Garten recipe and say it’s so easy.

Plum Dumplings – This Yugoslavian recipe that uses plums mixed with potatoes in a dumpling can be an entrée, a side dish or a dessert. The dumplings also freeze well.

Plum-Oatmeal Bread – This breakfast quick bread can be made the day before, wrapped and sliced in the morning for a hearty breakfast treat.

Plum and Peach Crisp – Plumbs and peaches are in season simultaneously (at least where I live) so marrying them together in a tart makes a lot of sense. Make sure to have plenty of vanilla ice cream on hand if you make this one.

Plum Sorbet – A sorbet you can adjust the sugar in to cater to how sweet you want it. An ice cream machine is needed to make this recipe.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Seasonal recipes: 5 for plums
An unexpected source of plums calls for some creative recipes.