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Make your own plum jam at home using juicy fresh plums. It’s the perfect way to extend the flavors of summer!
Even though plums seem to grow everywhere, we just aren’t giving the stone fruit enough love, are we?
Maybe it’s just fallen out of favor, but I say we help bring back the popularity of these fruits, starting with some plum jam.
Plum jam is hard to find in grocery stores, but fortunately, it’s easy to make at home.
To me, plum jam is similar in flavor to grape jelly, but a bit more vibrant. I love to use it on toast, or for making my sugar plum cheese danishes.
You can make this jam in under an hour, especially if you use pectin to speed along the process.
I promise it’s easy to do, even if you’re a beginner! You’ll be well-rewarded with jewel-like jars of jam, awaiting your morning toast.
Ingredients for plum jam
Plums – You’ll need just shy of a pound of plums for this recipe. I always recommend getting extra in case you need to cut away some of the fruit, or if the pits end up being extra large. Red or black plums will work well!
Sugar – Use granulated sugar for jam.
Lemon juice – The addition of citrus helps cut the sweetness in the jam while working with the pectin for a set.
Powdered pectin – Pectin is optional for plum jam, as round plums usually have enough natural pectin for a set. However, if you want to spend less time cooking the jam or want to ensure a set, use it! You’ll only need a small amount, so get the pectin that comes in a jar, rather than a box.
How to make this recipe
Set aside the mason jars or containers you will be storing the jam in. You’ll need 2 8-ounce jars or the equivalent, plus lids.
Halve the plums, remove the pit, and chop. You’ll need 1 ? cup of prepared fruit, about 12 ounces.
You can pulse the plums in a food processor for a smooth jam, or just chop by hand. I like to have some larger pieces of fruit in my jam, so I chop by hand.
Add the plums (plus any juices) to a saucepan along with the pectin (if using) and lemon juice.
Set over medium heat and stir, cooking until bubbly and the plum pieces have broken down a bit. You can use a potato masher to break them down.
Pour in all of the sugar and stir well. Bring the mixture back to a boil on medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar completely. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan!
Once the jam is at a boil that cannot be stirred down (this is a hard or rolling boil), let it boil for 1 minute.
If you used the pectin, remove the jam from the heat.
If you did not add the pectin, you will need to continue to cook the jam until it is thick and sticky, 15-20 minutes.
Spoon the jam into jars. Wipe any spilled jam off the outside with a damp towel and apply lids.
Let the jam cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator.
Water bath canning
This jam needs to be stored in the refrigerator unless you use a water bath canner to process it.
Before making the jam, fill your canning pot (or very large stock pot) with water and bring it to a boil. There needs to be enough water in the pot that it completely covers the jars.
Cook the jam and fill jars as above, leaving ¼ inch of headspace at the top. Use a chopstick or bubble popper to remove any air bubbles in the jam, then wipe the jar rims with a damp towel to remove any spilled jam.
Place the lids and screw on the bands fingertip tight.
Using a jar lifter, lower the jars into the boiling water bath. Cover, and bring back to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes to process.
Turn off heat and let jars rest 5 minutes, then use the jar lifter again to remove from the water and set on a towel-lined countertop.
Let the jars rest for 24 hours before checking for seals. Sealed jars can be stored in the pantry for up to 18 months. Any unsealed jars must be stored in the fridge.
Don’t forget to label the jars with the contents and date!
What kind of plums should I use in this recipe?
You can use red or black plums for this recipe. These are the round plums you will most likely find at the grocery store.
Damson plums are a sub-species of plum that is smaller and more oblong in shape. These, along with Italian plums, can also be used.
Do I need to use pectin in plum jam?
Stone fruits generally do not have enough pectin to allow jams to set properly.
Note that Damson plums and Italian plums have less natural pectin.
If you do not add the pectin, make sure to cook the jam for longer, until it is thick and at a temperature of 220°F.
Ways to use plum jam
Try it with sticky plum chicken wings or as a glaze for pork chops.
Swap in this plum jam in my raspberry pie bars for a wonderful dessert.
Of course, you can always eat plum jam simply as a topping for a toasted English muffin, bagel, or your favorite bread.
Make a quick batch of this easy plum jam today!
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It means so much when you enjoy my recipes, so let me know how it goes and leave a comment if you have any questions.
- 1 1/3 cup chopped plums, about 12 ounces
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons powdered pectin, optional
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Set 1 16-ounce mason jar or 2 8-ounce jars on a clean kitchen towel next to the stove, along with jar lids and a ladle.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine chopped plums, pectin (if using), and lemon juice. Stir well and bring to a boil, stirring often to mix and break up the plums further, using a potato masher if you like.
- Once boiling, add the sugar all at once and stir well. Bring back to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar fully. When the mixture is at a boil that cannot be stirred away, boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat. The mixture should be thickened and sticky, but still pourable. If you like, use a spoon to skim off the foam and discard.
- Pour the jam into your jar(s), leaving ¼ inch of headspace. Use a wet towel to wipe the outside of the jar, then loosely place lid. Let cool to room temperature, then store in the refrigerator.
- If processing in a water bath canner, prepare the canner by filling with water and heating to boiling before cooking the jam. Let the water simmer while preparing the jam. Set aside two-piece jar lids.
- Cook jam and fill jars as above, then place the lids and screw on bands just to fingertip tight. Carefully lower into water bath, place lid on the canning pot, and boil for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat, remove lid, and carefully remove jars, placing on a kitchen towel. Let rest undisturbed for 24 hours, then check for seal, label, and store in a cool, dry place.
- Makes about 2 cups/16 ounces.
- If omitting pectin, cook jam until thickened. It should not pool back immediately when the bottom of the pan is scraped with the spatula. If using a candy thermometer, the jam is ready at 220°F.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
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