Plum Jam Recipe (No Peel, No Pectin!)

This two-ingredient plum jam recipe is really a cross between plum jam and plum preserves. It's awesome paired with breakfast pancakes or crepes.

We’re on a canning spree this week. The air is crisp and the mornings are cool. We’re surrounded by a fiery array of leaves that rustle in the warm afternoon breeze. Fall is in the air and canning just feels right this time of year.

I could eat this plum jam by the spoonful; paired with a hot mug of tea (I’m totally day dreaming here)… Our tiny plum tree overproduces the most amazing little plums every year. I wish I could name this variety; anyone recognize these little beauties?

This recipe is really a cross between plum jam and plum preserves. It still has some of it’s preserve-like plum chunks, but it’s nice and thick and spreads beautifully. It’s awesome paired with breakfast pancakes or crepes. Oh and this would make the sweetest Christmas gift! 

This two-ingredient plum jam recipe is really a cross between plum jam and plum preserves. It's awesome paired with breakfast pancakes or crepes.

How to Make Plum Jam:

Cooking the Preserves:

1. Cut 12 lbs of plums in half, pit them and place in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle well with 4 1/2  cups sugar. Using a large spoon, stir plums with sugar until all are coated.  If your plums are overripe or already very sweet, you may only need 4 cups of sugar total. You can add more sugar to taste while its cooking. Let plums sit at room temp with the sugar for about 1 hour, or until sugar is somewhat dissolved.


2. Transfer plums/sugar mixture in to a large cooking pot. Place it on the stove uncovered and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Make sure if you see a light boil to stir because the whole pot may not be boiling, just the center. If it stops boiling after you stir it, continue boiling until everything is uniformly bubbling, then simmer for 10 minutes and turn off the heat. Let the pot stand uncovered until it is just warm to the touch or reaches room temp.

3. As soon as it cools, repeat step 2 the same way – simmering 10 minutes. You will bring it to a simmer a total of 4 times, stirring to prevent scorching the bottom. This is why it takes 2 days to make. It’s really easy though and so worthwhile!  There’s no “set” waiting time between boilings. If 2 days doesn’t work for you, by all means, take 3 days. Preserves have plenty of sugar so they won’t spoil at room temp if you leave it on the counter overnight. If you want the preserves to have an even thicker consistency, you can boil it 5-6 times if you wish.

(Note: the fourth time you boil, bring it to a boil over a little lower heat and stir a few extra times to prevent scorching. Also, it thickens more as it cools. If using a different type of plum, I suggest adding sugar to taste in case they are more tart)

4. The last time you bring it to a boil you will want to transfer it to sterilized jars while it’s boiling hot.

To sterilize the jars:

1. Start by washing your jars and lids with warm water and soap then let them dry in the oven at 215 for about 20 min or until completely dry. Boil the lids 5 min.

2. Transfer your boiling hot jam to the jars using a glass measuring cup and a funnel (least messy method) leaving about 1/2″ space.

3. Screw the lids on enough to keep a tight seal in place but don’t over-tighten them since air bubbles need to be able to escape and place in the oven at 350˚F for 15 min. Carefully remove from oven, flip upside down and let cool to room temperature.

Note: 

Current safety standards say that it’s best to put the jars in a boiling water bath with 1-2″ water covering the lid (instead of the baking method) for ten minutes after tightening the lids to preserve shelf life and kill any potential bacteria. For more info on current canning guidelines, click here. I think I need a boiling water canner! 

This two-ingredient plum jam recipe is really a cross between plum jam and plum preserves. It's awesome paired with breakfast pancakes or crepes.This two-ingredient plum jam recipe is really a cross between plum jam and plum preserves. It's awesome paired with breakfast pancakes or crepes.

Enjoy 🙂

This two-ingredient plum jam recipe is really a cross between plum jam and plum preserves. It's awesome paired with breakfast pancakes or crepes.

Now don’t you want to curl up with a jar of that?

Plum Jam Recipe (No Peel, No Pectin!)

4.7 from 80 reviews
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Author:
Skill Level: Easy
Cost To Make: $7-$12
Serving: 8 jars

Ingredients

  • 12 lbs sweet ripe plums, rinsed
  • 4½ cups white sugar
  • 8 pint-sized jars with lids.

Instructions

  1. Place pitted and halved plums in to the mixing bowl & drizzle with 4½ cups of sugar. Stir plums until all coated with sugar. Let them sit for 1 hour than transfer the mixture in to a large cooking pot.
  2. Bring it to a boil uncovered, stirring occasionally. Boil until mixture is bubbling uniformly. Simmer for 10 minutes than turn off the heat. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Repeat step 2 a total of FOUR times. Last time bringing it to a boil at the lower temperature, stir frequently to prevent scorching.

To Sterilize Your Jars:

  1. Start by washing your jars and lids with warm water and soap then let them dry in the oven at 215 for about 20 min or until completely dry. Boil the lids 5 min.

Filling and processing your jam:

  1. Transfer your boiling hot jam to the jars using a glass measuring cup and a funnel (least messy method) leaving about ½″ space.
  2. Screw the lids on enough to keep a tight seal in place but don't over-tighten them since air bubbles need to be able to escape and place in the oven at 350˚F for 15 min. Carefully remove from oven, flip upside down and let cool to room temperature.

Notes

Current safety standards say that it’s best to put the jars in a boiling water bath with 1-2" water covering the lid (instead of the baking method) for ten minutes after tightening the lids to preserve shelf life and kill any potential bacteria.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Lynn
    October 14, 2017

    I made a batch using 9 1/2 lbs very tart damson plums which yeilded 8 lbs 11oz fruit after the pits were removed. I only added 3 cups sugar because I wanted the finished product tart. I did the 4 times method and the peels pretty much broke down and yeilded 10 1/2 cups. Then processed in boiling water for 20 minutes which helped to further dissolve the peels. The final product has the consistency of apple sauce, not the gooey gel of jam. I think that’s due to the type of plum not having much natural pectin. It’s is awesome stirred into sweet vanilla or coconut yogurt or over ice cream. Also good on pancakes with a teeny bit of syrup. I will definitely make it again next year. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 14, 2017

      I’m glad to hear that! Thanks for sharing your helpful review with other readers! Reply

  • Bubby Coffey
    October 8, 2017

    Thank you for the recipe. I made a half batch today.
    Cooking the fruit breaks it up. The steam reduced liquid. Because the fruit skins up, stirring is key to reducing liquid. I don’t think it would matter if you cooked it all in one setting vs. heat/cool.
    The recipe states to taste while cooking for sweetness – This is always crucial with fruit because it’s different from tree to tree. Reply

  • Sherri
    October 4, 2017

    Do you add water? To boil? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 4, 2017

      Hi Sherri, no water is needed in this recipe since the plums release juice while they stand with the sugar and also while cooking. Reply

  • Sandra Miller
    October 1, 2017

    Have you ever tried freezing the jars instead of boiling? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 2, 2017

      Hi Sandra, I think it could work as a freezer jam. Be sure to leave 1/2″ space at the top for expansion in the freezer. If you test it out, let me know how you like it as a freezer jam 🙂 Reply

  • Hilda Schneider
    September 25, 2017

    Hi there! I made your plum jam and although the flavour is lovely, the jam is rather tough, almost as if I should have only cooked it twice! I even added water to thin it out, but it is super thick. What did I do wrong? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 26, 2017

      Hi Hilda, it sounds like maybe it is due to the type of plums used. Some plums are more juicy than others. Reply

  • bb
    September 21, 2017

    great recipe but put the jam in jelly jars; a pint can mold in the fridgerator before it is used up. Reply

  • Wendy Gonzalez
    September 19, 2017

    Turned out pretty good but very sour despite adding extra sugar. We have mount royal plums that were pretty sweet this year. But the jam is canned and we had some this weekend and it’s tart. Wish it was sweeter. But now I know for next time to add more sugar Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 19, 2017

      Hi Wendy, I do suggest adding more sugar to taste for various plums since some can be more tart inside or even if a plum is sweet on the inside, it can be tart on the outside. Reply

      • Myrna
        September 19, 2017

        Something to keep in mind is that the sweetness of fruit varies each year. Tasting before and after adding sugar proves to be a good idea. Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          September 19, 2017

          Great tip Myrna! 🙂 Reply

  • Beverly Occulto
    September 19, 2017

    I made the Plum Jam…it turned out great! It’s so delicious and worth the effort!
    Love your recipes!!!! 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 19, 2017

      I’m glad you enjoy the recipe Beverly! Thanks for following and sharing your great review! 🙂 Reply

  • Barb Messere
    September 19, 2017

    This is the best plum jam! I made my first batch using the usual 7 1/2 cups of sugar and it was far too sweet for my taste. This recipe uses only half the amount and is sweet tart, just the way I like it. Hint: use very ripe plums to get the most flavor and follow the recipe exactly. I bottled my jam on the fourth boil. Thank you Natasha. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 19, 2017

      My pleasure Barb! I’m happy to hear how much you enjoy the recipe! Thanks for sharing your tips and great review with other readers! Reply

  • Nattalie
    September 17, 2017

    Hey there, I am making this for the first time and am very excited about it! How long is there shelf life? I’m hoping to give these as little Christmas gifts!

    Thanks a ton,
    Nattalie Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 17, 2017

      Hi Nattalie, when they are canned, they can last up to a year or longer. Reply

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