How to prepare a plum - Jamie Oliver's Home Cooking Skills

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How to Peel Plums

If you try to peel a plum by simply pulling back the skin, you'll end up with a sweet, sticky mess on your hands. Using the tried and true blanch and ice technique, however, loosens the peel and makes it easy to slide right off the plum. Whether you're baking a pie, making jam or you just prefer your plums peel-free, blanching is the best way to do the job.


  1. Boil a pot of water.The pot should be large enough to hold at least four or five plums. Use enough water to allow you to submerge the plums completely. You want the water to come to a full, rolling boil so you won't have to leave the plums in the hot water for too long. If you over boil them, they'll get mushy.
  2. Prepare a bath of ice.Fill a large bowl with ice and water to create an icy bath for the plums. After you blanch them, you'll need to immediately cool them down by plunging them in the ice water.
  3. Slice an "x" at the bottom of each plum.Creating a little cross hatch at the bottom of the plum (the side opposite the stem) will make it supremely easy to peel back the skin. There's no need to make the cut too deep or large; just use a paring knife to make a little "x" that pierces the skin and is large enough to poke your finger into.
  4. Blanch the plums for 30 seconds.Drop them carefully into the water and boil them for 30 seconds. Make sure to time the boiling so you don't end up overdoing it. If you boil the plums even a few moments too long, they'll begin to break down. Use a slotted spoon to remove the plums from the water after the time is up.
    • Don't blanch more than four or five plums at once. If you put too many plums in the water at the same time, the water will cool down, and the plums won't cook quickly enough.
    • If you would prefer, you could instead place the plums in a large bowl and carefully pour the boiling water over them. Let the plums soak in the hot water for 30 seconds. This technique is useful when you're peeling very delicate plums that you want to make sure you don't overcook.
  5. Plunge the plums into the ice water.Let them soak in the ice water for 30 seconds, then remove them and allow them to drain.
  6. Peel the plums.Place your finger under one of the little flaps formed by the "x" you sliced into the bottom of the plum. Pull back the flap, and the skin should easily come loose in one big strip. Keep pulling back the flaps on all four sides until you've completely peeled the plum. Continue until all of the plums are peeled.
    • If you encounter a tricky plum, use a paring knife to help gently loosen the skin.
    • If the skin won't budge, you may need to try blanching the plums once more. Make sure the water comes to a full boil and the plums cook for 30 seconds to loosen the skin.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    How can I get the pits out of a plum?
    Community Answer
    Cut the plum into halves first and then quarters. Finally, slice out the stone.
  • Question
    Can I peel dried plums?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, you can't peel dried plums.
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Quick Summary

To peel a plum, start by bringing a pot of water to a boil and preparing a bowl of ice water. Then, score an "x" in the bottom of the plum and place it in the boiling water for 30 seconds, which will loosen the peel so it's easier to take off. After 30 seconds, transfer plum to the ice water and let it soak for 30 seconds. Finally, use your fingers to grab the skin where you scored the "x" and peel it back until it's all off the plum.

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  • If peeling a lot of plums, you may find the juice irritates your skin, especially if you have cuts.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot of boiling water
  • Bowl of ice water
  • Knife

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