We’re lucky to have a plum tree that provides an ample harvest every two years. The last time it was ‘fruitful,’ I wasn’t prepared at all and wound up making way too many plum cakes. This year, I was ready. I did my research, gathered my jars, and made jam. A whole lot of it.
This recipe doesn’t use pectin and has a lot of sugar. Adjust the amount according to the tartness of your available plums. Mine are very tart, almost inedible alone.
Makes 16 half-pint jars.
8 pounds of small plums, rinsed
4 cups of water
12 cups sugar (adjust according to sweetness of plums)
1/2 cup lemon juice
- Prepare yourself for canning. Read through the general guidlines on NCHFP’s site. For jam, equipment that you’ll need includes: medium canner with rack, tongs, canning funnel, jars and lids.
- Prepare your area. Wash the jars and rings in the dishwasher, leaving them inside to stay warm. Rinse your lids in mild soap and water and place in a saucepan with a few inches of water. Keep these warm on low heat. Fill your canner about two-thirds full of water. (You can also keep a teapot of water on medium, just in case you find that you need to replenish the water in the canner.)
- In a large pot, bring plums and 4 cups of water to boil over medium. Reduce the heat to low. Cover. Simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- With a potato masher, gently mash the plums. The pits should float to the top. Skim the pits out with a slotted spoon.
- Add sugar and lemon juice.
- Pour the hot jam into your sterile jars. If needed, wipe off drips. Use tongs to place the lid. Add the ring and tighten only to just ‘fingertip’ tight. (Think: pour, wipe, lid, ring.)
- Place the full jars in the canner. Be sure that you have at least two inches of water over the tops. Process (boil) with the lid on for ten minutes.
- Remove jars from canner and place on racks. Be careful not to let the jars touch. Place a dish towel over the top, to slow cooling.
And now, enjoy your jam whenever you like. A batch of crumpets is probably in order.
Adapted from Well Preserved. Necessary soundtrack for jammin’? A little reggae, of course. Thanks to M, who was the real brains of this operation.