How to Make Plum Jam

plum jamWe’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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)Bring plums and water to a boil.
  3. 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.
  4. With a potato masher, gently mash the plums. The pits should float to the top. Skim the pits out with a slotted spoon.Skim the pits from the top.
  5. Add sugar and lemon juice.
  6. 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.)
  7. 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.
  8. 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.Remove the jars to racks.

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.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. cmitten says:

    Wow, I wish I had a plum tree!!

  2. Anne says:

    Yeah, nothing better than free fruit. :) It would be great to have more…someday.

  3. medicinemanofseattle says:

    Sweet (and not just the jam)! So, when are you going to have your new plum friendly friends over for a jam session? :-)

  4. katerina says:

    your recipe did not work!! the jam did not set and by the way, we are still waiting for the pips to come to the surface! didn’t know i had to put a lifejacket for each pip to rise to the surface! :(

  5. Anne says:

    I’m sorry the jam infuriated you. Since many have had success with it, my first question would be about the ripeness of your plums. I don’t know where you are, but it seems unusual to have plums in December. If you haven’t trashed it, strain and can it as plum sauce for topping for ice cream or pancakes.

    1. Electra says:

      This recipe works perfectly, and thank you for the tips on having jars, lids ready!

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