French and Italian plums come at the end of summer and beginning of autumn, when other varieties have already disappeared. These plums are dark skinned with a yellow-brown flesh. They have a higher sugar content than earlier types and are more suitable for drying into prunes. Used fresh they are quite different from their dried counterpart. Simply sprinkling a little sugar on top, cooking them inside puff pastry, and serving the tart slightly warm is the best way to bring out their flavor.