Tonight’s dessert is plum cake:
Tante Lissy’s Flaumen Kuchen (Plum Cake)
1 c Butter
1 c Sugar
2 tsp Almond extract (or vanilla)
1 tsp Salt
1 c White fl our
1 c Barley
10 Plums, pitted and cut in half
2 Tbsp warmed apricot jam
1. Beat together butter and sugar. Add in egg, almond or vanilla extract,
2. Mix in fl our and barley to form a dough.
3. Pat 2/3 of the dough into an -inch pan with removable rim. Arrange plums,
cut side down, in pan.
4. Lattice rest of dough on top; drizzle with apricot jam.
5. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.
I saved some Santa Rosa plums last summer and froze them for just such an occasion.
We are lucky to have an orchard with plenty of “stone” fruits such as apricots and
peaches, and I hope that they will always thrive here, but I am not sure. Stone fruits are
susceptible to plum pox virus (PPV), which has been a devastating disease in Europe
since the early 1900s. In 1992, PPV was reported for the first time in Chile, and in 1998
was found in an Adams County, Pennsylvania orchard. Although the disease remains
localized at this time, the only known method of control, in the case of an outbreak, is
to pull up the trees and bulldoze them before the disease spreads to other parts of the
Americas. Because of this threat, the U.S. Department of Agriculture developed a GE plum variety, called HoneySweet, that is resistant to disease, applying a similar technique that was used to engineer papaya for resistance to papaya ringspot virus. The GE trees look like their non-GE female parent, a commercial cultivar developed through conventional breeding and their fruit tastes the same. In an interview with ARS staff, horticulturist Ralph Scorza said “It’s
basically immune to the plum pox virus. We’ve shown that it is resistant to all major
strains of the virus that we’ve tested”.
Recent outbreaks in New York and Michigan underscore that PPV is becoming endemic despite containment efforts (bulldozing and disposal of infected vegetation, moratoria on the movement/transport of infected plant materials, and control of insect vectors). Because the aphid vectors of the disease are common throughout the U.S., the occurrence of PPV in this major plum-producing area could devastate the industry and affect world supplies of product. This devastation has been the case in countries where PPV has already spread. In fact, the disease is classified as an invasive species in the U.S. because of the significant economic losses that result to the orchard industry.
‘HoneySweet’ plum which is highly resistant to Plum pox virus has been deregulated by APHIS and cleared by FDA. EPA registration is the final regulatory process for ‘HoneySweet’ plum in the U.S. The proposed registration is now open for public comment.
The comment period is 30 days from April 1. To submit a comment to the above website click on the “comment due” balloon at the bottom of the page. The EPA documents for your reference can be accessed on the cited website by checking the “supporting & related material” box at the top of the page.