Saturday, 1 August 2015

Recipe: Plum Jam

I reckon plum jam, basic plum jam, is just about the easiest jam to make.  It's quick, doesn't require any clever fiddle-faddles and tastes scrumptious.  I love it on still warm, freshly baked bread or on toast.

It can be a very frugal recipe when there's a glut of plums in the shops and the punnets are reduced.  Not as cheap as value jam but there's just no comparison in flavour and in texture.  Give me home made any day.  if you have a kindly neighbour or friend who shares with you the produce of their fruit tree, then it's the most frugal thing in the world, even after handing some little pots of jam back as a thank you!

Some good plums (by that I mean not too many bad bits as they have to be cut off)
Sugar.  I use jam sugar if I have it but ordinary is fine because plums are high in pectin and the jam will set.
A bit of water
A squirt of lemon juice.  This helps the set and it's not really necessary with plum jam but belt and braces!!
A knob of butter

You also need some clean,. hot jam jars with lids or some of those cellophane tops.

Put the clean jam jars on an oven tray and pop into a warm oven.  Not too hot or the jars might crack.
Put two saucers in the fridge to cool (if you use that method to test for set)

Prepare the plums by cutting round the stone one way and then the other so that when you twist the plum open it is in quarters.  Discard the stone and any bad bits.  Weigh the prepared fruit - that's how much sugar you will need.
Place in a large pan, add a splash or two of water and simmer until the fruit is soft.

Take the pan off the heat, add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.  Stir in the lemon juice if using
Place the pan back on the heat, bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes, skimming off any scum.  I find plum jam sets quickly so I do my first test after five minutes and it is almost always ready.

When it has reached setting point, remove the pan from the heat, skim off any large amounts of scum and stir in a knob of butter to disperse the rest.

Pour the (very hot so be careful) jam into the hot jam jars.  Screw the lids on firmly.  Leave to cool and label when cold.

I used golden yellow plums this time (love that colour) but greengages make a wonderful jam and those dark purple plums work well too.  Use what you have.  Just before Christmas I add a star anise to the simmering mixture which imparts a wonderful spiciness which goes well with pork, ham or turkey in a sarnie or on the plate.

If you want a smoother jam, just push the soft fruit through a sieve or a mouli before adding the sugar.  You will need to reweigh to determine how much sugar you need.


  1. Yum! I love plum jam! Might get jammin myself after this post! I'm just enjoying some fig jam I bought - Bonne Maman is about the closest I can find to home made - it was on offer - it would have been rude to leave it on the shelf!

  2. Mmm - fig jam!! It would have been very rude, I agree, most offending, in fact! Bonne Maman is excellent and, even better, I love the jars. They hold more than they look. The only problem is the lids which aren't so robust and you can't get replacement lids that size, unfortunately!

    My bloggy friend, Diane, has a fig tree in her garden but I don't know if she has ever made jam with them.

    J x

    1. I have never made jam with the figs most just get eaten straight off the tree. I poach the spares in orange juice and freeze for when I want a reminder of summer.

  3. I remember you've said you don't eat jam so I guess there's be no point really.
    J x