Simple plum jam recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Preserves
  • Jam
  • Plum jam

An easy jam for first-timers. Once you taste home-made you'll never buy store-bought again! The colour depends on the variety of the plums you use - the above picture used English Victoria plums, yellow/light skins. The taste is the same.

Dunbartonshire, Scotland, UK

3387 people made this

IngredientsMakes: 4 500g jars

  • 1.5kg fresh plums (firm, slightly under-ripe)
  • 1.5kg granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • A knob butter, about 30g
  • 100ml cold water

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:1hr15min ›Ready in:1hr30min

  1. Wash plums and remove stalks. Use a fruit knife to cut the plums in half (vertically), then twist to open and remove the stone.
  2. Place fruit, lemon juice and water in a large, deep, heavy based pot and bring to the boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer until the plums have softened, about 40 mins.
  4. Keep on low heat and add sugar. Stir continuously until sugar has dissolved.
  5. Stir in the butter to help reduce frothing. Turn up the heat and stir continuously until the mixture comes to a rapid boil.
  6. Continue stirring on high heat until the jam reaches setting point. If you don't have a jam thermometer - this is obvious when the mixture starts to stick/set on the sides of the pan or starts to set when you drop it from your wooden spoon.
  7. Remove from heat. To test - place a teaspoon of jam onto a cold saucer. Allow to cool, then push your finger through the jam, it should start to congeal and wrinkle up - if you can push your finger through and its still runny, you haven't yet reached setting point. If still not set, return the pot to the heat; bring back up to a rolling boil and test again in a few minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and pour gently into clean, sterilised, warm jars. Check for air bubbles and remove. Seal and label while jars are warm. Allow to cool completely, then store. Yum!


This jam is easy, uses equal quantities of fruit to sugar. So, whether you have a small or a large amount of fruit, its easy to adjust amounts needed. The recipe amount I used (1.5kg fruit to 1.5kg sugar) yielded around 2.5kg jam (5lb).

How to sterilise jars

Learn how to sterilise jars two ways with our handy step-by-step guide and video.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(66)

Reviews in English (63)

Thank you for this easy recipe. I haven't tried it yet as I was wondering if I should use Jam Sugar or add Pectin to the normal sugar?-24 Aug 2013

I decreased the sugar to almost 1/2 .. nice tart and sweet taste :-)-23 Jun 2013

Really easy. Used half the amount of sugar and it was lovely.-17 Aug 2013

Simple Plum Jam

This simple plum jam recipe will blow your socks off with flavour. Plums are in season right now and within 20 minutes you can have a couple of jars of home-made sweet plum jam cooling ready to eat using this simple recipe.

Jam making reminds me of my French Grandmother who would make jars and jars of jam. Plum jam has to be one of my favourite jams (alongside blackberry) to slather on hot butter sourdough toast or fluffy buttermilk scones. When Tala Cooking approached me to create a jam recipe using some of their products, I knew this was the one that I wanted to share with you.

Plum Jam Recipe | Easy Fruit Jam

What are the functions and effects of plum jam? Every year from July to August, it is the season of plum ripening. It has a round shape and a sweet and sour taste, many people like to eat.

The role of Chinese plum jam: plum jam can promote gastric acid secretion, increase gastrointestinal motility, so eating plum sauce can promote digestion and increase appetite. Plum sauce is a good therapeutic product for those who have fullness and constipation after eating. The plum sauce recipe I shared today has simple ingredients and easy to make. You guys can follow the steps to make plum jam below.

Cooking steps:

1. Prepare the ingredients and wash the plums. If the plums you buy are sweeter, then the sugar will be reduced. If it is sour, the amount I gave is just right.

2. Cut the plums into small pieces.

3. Put the plums in the juice machine, add water, lemon juice and rock sugar, and crush.

4. Pour into the pot and boil, then turn to medium heat and slowly boil.

5. It took me about half an hour to cook until the sauce was thick. Pay special attention to boiling bubbles during the boiling process, pay attention to safety, do not burn your hands.

6. After cooling, put it in a small bottle without water and oil, store it in the refrigerator.

Homemade Plum Jam

So the thing with jam or jelly is that your recipe will depend a lot on the type of pectin you use. They are all very similar but you always want to check your packaging to make sure you are following their recommendations. One tip my sister gave me was to add a little butter to reduce foaming and in fact that same tip was mentioned on my Ball Pectin packaging.

What You’ll Need:
Plums, lots of plums
Sugar, lots of sugar
Bottle Lemon Juice

My measurements:
12 cups of prepared plums
12 cups of granulated sugar
27 tsp <9 Tbls>of lemon juice
13 1/2 Tbls pectin
1/4 tsp butter

Plum Jam Recipe

Making this plum jam was a few hours of pure contentment. Most of the time, I am writing posts that involve assignments or targeted keywords. Blogging is as much of a business and science as it is creative. Usually, I am at my computer working all day, and it’s not as often that I get to create freely!

When Greg’s uncle offered me a bucket of wild plums he had picked from trees on the ranch, I eagerly accepted. Then I thought, oh no, what have I got myself into? I don’t have time to make jam…

But I made time, and I am so glad I did. He shared this recipe with me, and now I am excited to share it with you!

I hope that regardless if you make this plum jam, you read this and take some time to do something you truly enjoy this week. I hope you’ll find some stillness in your day to appreciate the moment.

To me, this plum jam isn’t just a delicious recipe, it brought me back to why I started blogging in the first place. I was able to get creative with my photography, and truly appreciate the creative process.

I hope you enjoy. As always, thank you so much for being here and being a reader. I’d love for you to subscribe so we can stay in touch. Or, visit us on Instagram.

To make plum jam, you’ll leave the skins on. The skins have quite a bit of pectin in them, so there’s no need to add pectin! This makes for a great recipe for beginner canners!

However, you can add pectin if you’d like to drop the sugar down. If you’re adding pectin, chop the fruit up very well. Since the fruit won’t simmer and break down as long as it would if you were not adding pectin.

If you’re using added Pectin, follow the instructions on the box. Usually, you’ll add the pectin after the mixture comes to a full rolling boil, then bring it back to a full rolling boil for exactly 60 seconds.

Steps to make Plum Jam

Cook not using pectin

Simmer the unchopped plums in granulated sugar and lemon juice, uncovered, until an instant read thermometer reads 220 °F and the jam is set.

OR cook using pectin

Cook the chopped plums with the pectin, granulated sugar and lemon juice according to the package instructions of the pectin. Skim off the foam.

Mash jam

Once set, you may use a potato masher or a hand blender to chop up part of them until you reach a chunkiness of your choice.

Portion out jam

Using sterilized jars, pour the hot jam into the jars to fill no less than ¼-inch from the top and wipe off excess on the rims. Wash the lids, place them on the jars and screw the seal ring, closed.

Boil jars

Boil the sealed jam jars in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the jars.


Stand your jam jars, undisturbed, for 24 hours before removing the screwed seal ring and storing in a cool, dry place for up to a year.


Once opened, jam will keep in the refrigerator for at least 1 month.

Try this scrumptious, homemade Plum Jam recipe for yourself. A delightful jam jar to keep around the house that you can use to sweeten so many different things. Let us know how you like yours and tag #cookmerecipes in your own homemade jam posts.

Bethany is very passionate about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and clean diet. She’s trying to cut meat out of her diet as much as possible and focuses on cooking vegetarian food and fish. Bethany gets a kick from finding ways to add new twists to classic dishes. What’s more, thanks to her Asian roots, she’s great at combining different cuisines to come up with something extraordinary. Bethany’s recipes will inspire you to add new colors and flavors to your everyday meals.

Plum Jam Recipe (with Step by Step Photos)

Response: Hello Peggy, I am not able to answer this question as I have never freeze the cooked jam and so not sure about its shelf life in the freezer.

Response: Mix the jam with hot boiling water and cook it again to soften it. Make sure to try that in small batches.

Response: Yes, you can use wild plums.

Response: Thank you Shirley for trying the recipe. Glad to hear that you got the perfect texture and taste of the jam.

Response: Thank you Amanda for trying the recipe.

Response: No, you cannot use frozen plums.

Response: Thank you Lorraine for trying the recipe and sharing the feedback.

Response: Yes Heidi, you can strain the juice a little bit to reduce the cooking time. When you make this next time, 1. don't use overripe plums, 2.use the broad pan and 3. cook jam in small batches (instead of cooking in a single large batch) to get the more natural fruit taste.

Response: Hello Sondra, I generally made the jam when the plums are either slightly under ripe or ripe but not very soft.

Response: Thank you Leslie, for trying the recipe. Sometimes, the jam has a mild lemon flavor when the plums are not sweet enough. If you don't like the lemon flavor you can make the jam without it, but you have to keep it in the refrigerator and consume within a month.

Response: Thank you Noreen, for trying the recipe and writing the feedback. I am glad to hear that it turned out well.

Response: No, you cannot use honey instead of sugar in this recipe.

Response: Hello Jenna, this recipe makes approx. 1½ cups jam.

Response: Hello Susan, I am sorry because I am not able to give you the answer as I always make the jam by cooking the plum and sugar together. I have never made the jam by first cooking the plum and then adding the sugar. As per my view, there is no need to cook plums with water. If the plums are less juicy, mix them with sugar and keep in the refrigerator for 5-6 hours before cooking so, the released plum juice would be enough for cooking.

Response: Yes Aileen, it will take longer time because of the bigger batch. If you are cooking it in a bigger batch, cook it over medium heat until it turns little thick to speed up the process and then simmer it until it's done.

Response: Hello Mary, canning processing time (10 minutes) given in this recipe is for 1000 ft - 6000 ft. For below 1000 ft, canning processing time is 5-minutes and for above 6000 ft, canning processing time is 15 minutes.

Response: Hello Sophia, If you are preparing the jam with pectin, follow the exact instructions given on the pectin box. When you try the jam next time, cook it a little bit longer before adding the pectin.

Response: Hi Anna, plums are used with skin (unpeeled) in this recipe.

Response: Hi Kimberly, thanks for trying the recipe and I am happy to hear that your jam turned out wonderful. You can reduce the sugar and make the jam but you cannot preserve it for long time (canning). You can store it in the refrigerator for a month.

Response: You can use 2½ cups chopped Ripe Plums:1 cup sugar :

Response: Yes, you can keep this jam in refrigerator for up to 6-months.

Response: Hi Marcella, I don't have any idea about how to use dried plum to make jam.

Make Large or Small Batches:

You will notice there are only a few specific measurements in the recipe below. This is because you can make this recipe with any amount of plums – large or small.

And keep in mind that the process is not an exact science and you will get varying levels of syrup thickness based on the pectin level of your fruit. So, don’t sweat it. The most important part is the FLAVOR. The thickness does not matter.

If you wish the syrup to be thicker, simply cook it longer (evaporating more of the water content). But watch it carefully so that it does not burn.

Plum jam can be made, fresh or frozen plums slices. It is important that plums are pitted before freezing otherwise pitting plum after cooking can be a nuisance.

Do I peel plum before making a jam?

No, peeling plum for plum jam without pectin is not necessary. In fact, as for most fruits peels are rich in antioxidants and so there is no need to waste them. The fiber from the peel also helps thicken the jam. Most importantly, the peels are soft and get meshed easily after cooking. If incase any variety of plum have thick skin, you can pulse the jam in a blender or immersion blender to make it smooth. The skin will disappear after blending.

How much sugar goes in Plum Jam without pectin?

Since sugar is a natural preservative in a jam, you need a certain amount of sugar to makes jam, especially if making no pectin plum jam. For a sweet jam, you go beyond that amount and make it very sweet. That's why in ingredients, I have mentioned both measures for less and more sugar in jam.

  • Using 2 cups of sugar with 1 kg plum (2.2 pounds) will give you slightly sweet and tarty plum jam. And why not make a less sugar more pulp jam at home and ditch the store-bought jam. Great for weight water and healthy food lovers. One drawback is that reducing sugar will give you thinner jam as compared to the below version. But it tastes good and is spreadable too.
  • Using 3 cups of sugar with 1 kg plums will make a sweet jam just like the store-bought, of course, better with real ingredients. If you are making jam for kids than I suggest add three cups of sugar.

This Plum jam has rich color and spreadable consistency since we are not using pectin, it will be thick in the jar but it will not set like regular jam. Check information more information on jams here and here.

Are plums high in pectin?

Plum are high in pectin and it helps the jam to set as it cools. But natural pectin is not as effective as added pectin. So expect a soft jam which is spreadable and thick but not jelly-like or the store-bought jam.

Tips for storing jams

  • Homemade jams last for 6 months in the fridge without preservatives, if a proper sterilization process is followed. Use a clean spoon to serve each time.
  • If you freeze jam, they can last up to a year or more. Although they never last that long.
  • If you intend to seal and store jam at room temperature. Then proper canning steps and store jam in the fridge after opening.

Canning Plum Jam

It’s perfectly fine to make this plum jam recipe without canning. Just make the jam, and be sure to store it in the refrigerator or freezer once it’s cooled. If it’s in the refrigerator, it’ll need to be used within a few weeks, while it’ll last up to 6 months in the freezer.

I’m personally a fan of canning because it saves on freezer space and allows me to take summer produce and make it shelf stable for year-round enjoyment.

To can plum jam, simply prepare a water bath canner before you begin. Once the jam reaches gel stage, ladle into canning jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims, de-bubble jars and adjust the headspace to ensure it’s still 1/4 inch.

Cap with 2 part canning lids and process in a water bath canner for 5 minutes (pints and half pints). Adjust the time to 10 minutes if you’re above 1,000 feet in elevation, and to 15 minutes if you’re over 6,000 feet.

Ways to Preserve Plums