By Vanessa Greaves

Go plum crazy

Late summer brings a flood of fresh plums to the market, and since this is the only time of the year they're available, you're going to want to enjoy them while you can. You'll find that these jewel-toned stone fruits range in flavor from very sweet to quite tart, so when you use them in recipes, it's smart to taste one first to get a sense of how to adjust the sugar you might add. Here are some of our favorite plum treats to try right now.

Fresh plums nestle atop a simple batter lightened up with whipped egg whites. "This cake is so yummy and light. It's perfect for a summer evening. My husband LOVED it and he doesn't usually care for desserts." -- LUNARORA

Photo by honeypoo

This is one of those almost effortless desserts you'll find yourself going back to again and again. You can replace half the flour in the topping with rolled oats, if you wish.

Photo by Meredith

Upside-down cakes are old-fashioned favorites that never go out of style. "Like many others, this was my first attempt at an upside-down cake, and I have to say the recipe is very straightforward and easy to follow." -- KB

Photo by Lori

It's pronounced claw-foo-TEE, and it's an incredibly simple custard-type dessert that you can literally whip up in minutes. It does take an hour to bake, but don't let that stop you from trying this easy, impressive French dessert.

Photo by larryali

If you can turn on an oven, you can make this. And imagine how incredible your kitchen's going to smell while the plums are baking with orange juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. There's a touch of cumin in there, too, just to spice things up. Serve warm over ice cream or pound cake, or with roasted meats.

Photo by lutzflcat

This fun-to-say dessert is a light and fluffy mousse-like treat. You can chill and serve it in individual glasses so everyone can ooh and aah at the lovely color.

Photo by lutzflcat

"This is absolutely delicious! I have followed the recipe to the dot, well almost :). I added little cinamon and little vanilla sugar just to give the plums little twist since they react well with both. And it was a treat! It went down so well, my fiancé left me only two slices! I will have to bake it again." -- Yanna_K

Photo by Melissa Goff

Jamie Northern, who submitted this 5-star recipes, comments, "The Damson plum makes a tart, flavorful, soft-setting jam that is a rich, deep wine-colored spread for cookies, waffles, bread, or anything else, really. Cardamom adds an unusual and subtle perfume to these preserves." If you're new to canning, you'll appreciate these tips.

Photo by nichola35