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.

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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.

Home Canning Tools:

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.

Plums on a cutting board, some halved and some whole

Halved plums in a large bowl

Sugar poured on top of halved plums in a large bowl
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.

Plum jam in a large pot

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.

Jars and lids on the table

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.

Current Canning Guidelines:

Get up to date on the most recent canning guidelines here. It’s a great resource to answer frequently asked canning questions. Current guidelines recommend the following process (instead of oven canning):

  1. Place packed cans into the canning pot and cover with 1-2 inches of water. Bring to a boil and process 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from the pot and leave at room temperature undisturbed for 12-24 hours. You may hear a pop when the jars fully seal.
  3. After 24 hours, check that the seal has formed by pushing down on the center of the lid – it should not move at all. If the seal does not form, refrigerate jam and enjoy within 3 months.

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?

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.

Plum Jam Recipe (No Peel, No Pectin!)

4.88 from 227 votes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 80 (makes 8 pint-sized jars
  • 12 lbs sweet ripe plums, rinsed
  • 4 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 8 pint-sized jars with lids.

Instructions

  • Place pitted and halved plums into the mixing bowl & drizzle with 4 1/2 cups of sugar. Stir plums until all coated with sugar. Let them sit for 1 hour then transfer the mixture into a large cooking pot.
  • Bring it to a boil uncovered, stirring occasionally. Boil until the mixture is bubbling uniformly. Simmer for 10 minutes then turn off the heat. Cool to room temperature.
  • Repeat step 2 a total of FOUR times. Last time bringing it to a boil at the lower temperature, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.

To Sterilize Your Jars:

  • 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:

  • Transfer your boiling hot jam to the jars using a glass measuring cup and a funnel (least messy method) leaving about 1/2″ space.
  • 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.
  • Place packed cans into the canning pot and cover with 1-2 inches of water. Bring to a boil and process 15 minutes. Remove from the pot and leave at room temperature undisturbed for 12-24 hours. You may hear a pop when the jars fully seal. After 24 hours, check that the seal has formed by pushing down on the center of the lid - it should not move at all. If the seal does not form, refrigerate jam and enjoy within 3 months.

Nutrition Per Serving

74kcal Calories19g Carbs106mg Potassium17g Sugar235IU Vitamin A6.4mg Vitamin C4mg Calcium0.1mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Plum Jam Recipe (No Peel, No Pectin!)
Amount per Serving
Calories
74
% Daily Value*
Potassium
 
106
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
19
g
6
%
Sugar
 
17
g
19
%
Vitamin A
 
235
IU
5
%
Vitamin C
 
6.4
mg
8
%
Calcium
 
4
mg
0
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Keyword: No Pectin, Plum Jam
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 74
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Recipe updated in 2019 to reflect new canning standards. Previously we used the oven method: 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 then carefully remove from oven, flip upside down and let cool to room temperature.

Signs of Spoiled Canned Food:

With any type of canning, we follow this advice: “When in doubt, throw it out”
Discard and do not eat or taste any canned food if you notice any of the following:

  • the jar is leaking, bulging, or swollen
  • the jar looks damaged, cracked, or abnormal
  • the jar spurts foam or liquid upon opening
  • the canned food is discolored, moldy, mushy, slimy, or smells bad

Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the creator behind Natasha's Kitchen (established in 2009), and I share family-friendly, authentic recipes. I am a New York Times Best-Selling cookbook author and a trusted video personality in the culinary world. My husband, Vadim, and I run this blog together, ensuring every recipe we share is thoroughly tested and approved. Our mission is to provide you with delicious, reliable recipes you can count on. Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy you are here.

Read more posts by Natasha

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Comments

  • Matt Keys
    June 7, 2024

    When cutting down recipe ( I used less than 2 pounds) do I need to repeat as many times? Boil/cool down. I’ve repeated once so far and it is pretty jammy. Also do I keep stirring when simmering?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 11, 2024

      Hi Matt, I recommend it, but you may need slightly less time per boil.

      Reply

  • Debbie Rankin
    June 6, 2024

    So I don’t need to put any lemon in this to keep from spoiling and what happens to the peels???
    I’ve made fig, strawberry and pear preserves before and always added lemon or orange.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 7, 2024

      Hi Debbie, I’ve never found it necessary with plums. If you have a variety of plums that are ultra-sweet (including the skins), you might add some lemon juice. It really is also a taste preference – it won’t spoil your plum jam to add some lemon juice 🙂

      Reply

  • Daniel P Istre
    May 26, 2024

    I have a 5 gal bucket of plums that are not completely ripe yet the limbs on the tree were so loaded that they broke and I don’t want to waste them what do you suggest that I do with them iwould love to make jam or jelly

    Reply

    • Natasha
      May 26, 2024

      Hi Daniel, plum jam is a good option but jam is best with ripe and very sweet fruit. I would also suggest dehydrating them to make prunes – that’s one of our favorite things to do with our plums. Then we vacuum seal them and put them in the freezer – it’s a real treat in the winter.

      Reply

  • Vee
    December 8, 2023

    You did not state if the plum jelly/jam can be shelf life, just refrigerate for 3 months if not sealed but what if they do seal are they shelf life and if so how long ?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 8, 2023

      It will keep at least a year and usually longer, just like any jam if it is processed in a water bath correctly.

      Reply

  • Heidi
    October 13, 2023

    My family does not like chunks, when would be the best time to use an immersion blender?

    Reply

  • Janet Willrett
    September 26, 2023

    They are Damson Plums and they are delicious. My Mom use to make Damspn plum jam and I loved it.

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 26, 2023

      Nice to know that, thanks for sharing!

      Reply

  • sam
    September 17, 2023

    Love this recipe. so simple. I added 1 diced up orange and 1 tsp of cinnamon, after the third boil (now cooled but still warm ) I put the mixture in a strainer and stirred until all the pulp was through(about 20 mins). then finished following the directions. Super delic. thank you , thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      September 17, 2023

      You’re welcome, Sam. So glad that you loved it!

      Reply

  • Stacey
    September 4, 2023

    First time ever making jam, and it turned out amazing! Can I follow the same recipe using peaches?

    Reply

  • dp
    August 30, 2023

    Can this be frozen in small in quart size freezer bags and if so for how long?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 30, 2023

      Hi Dp! 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 using a jar, I ahven’t tried this in freezer bags. If you test it out, let me know how you like it as a freezer jam.

      Reply

    • Louise
      September 5, 2023

      I love this recipe! 😋. Do you think if I use the same method for grapes that they will cook down the same way?

      Reply

      • Natashas Kitchen
        September 5, 2023

        Hi Louise, I have not tested this exact recipe with grapes to be sure of the outcome. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe.

        Reply

  • Kim
    August 30, 2023

    If I double this recipe, is there anything that I should change?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 30, 2023

      Hi Kim! Yes, you can double this recipe.

      Reply

  • Jenn
    August 29, 2023

    What is after five rounds of simmering, my jam is still not very thick? Is pectin my only option?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      August 29, 2023

      Hi Jenn! The type of plums can make a difference as some are juicier than others so if you used another type, you may need to adjust and boil down longer if still too watery.

      Reply

  • monika
    August 19, 2023

    Hello,
    Can add something to the jam to keep it for more then 3 monts please

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      August 19, 2023

      Hi Monika, it will keep at least a year and usually longer, just like any jam if it is processed in a water bath correctly.

      Reply

  • Chriss Mackie
    July 16, 2023

    Hi Natasha,

    First let me say I love your recipes as well as your humor, both keep me entertained and well fed!

    I’m hoping you can advise me, I didn’t realize that this plum jam recipe initially called for 12 pounds of un-pitted plums (I should have paid closer attention!😏) , so I pitted my plums and then I weighed them. So now I have 12 pounds of pitted plums and am not sure how much sugar to add. Please help!! Thank you,

    Chriss

    Reply

    • Natasha
      July 17, 2023

      Hi Chriss, I would start with the same amount of sugar and just add more to taste as you go. Some plums are sweeter and some are more tart so it really depends on the plums.

      Reply

      • Chrissmackie
        July 18, 2023

        Thank you, Natasha, and keep up the good work, it is much appreciated!

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          July 19, 2023

          Thank you so much!

          Reply

  • Shirley
    June 3, 2023

    Hi
    Can I add choped jalepenos to this recipe? If so, when should I add them?

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      June 3, 2023

      Hi Shirley! I have not tested that to advise but I think it could work. Let us know how it is if you experiment.

      Reply

  • SLS
    March 1, 2023

    has anyone done this with a crockpot or instant pot? Just curious. Also can you do smaller batches?

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      March 1, 2023

      Hi SLS, here’s what one of my readers wrote about using a crock pot: “I used a crockpot and it worked wonderfully. I coated it with a light coat of cooking spray then added plums and sugar. I turned it on high and let it go for about 4 hours, stirring occasionally, let cool and repeated 3x then used an immersion blender to make a smooth consistency before last heating. I love that I didn’t have to worry about it scorching. It came out fabulous!” I hope this helps!

      Reply

  • Kathy
    February 2, 2023

    Is it alright to leave jam overnight between step 2 and step 3. Mine is taking such a long time to cool down and I don’t want to be up all night. Thank you

    Reply

    • Natasha
      February 4, 2023

      HI Kathy, here is my note from the post above: “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.”

      Reply

  • ZELDA
    October 20, 2022

    This is the ONLY way I do plum jam now. It’s a great recipe. I have successfully condensed it into 2 days by starting at the crack of dawn, reboiling in the evening, then repeating the next day. It does sound labor intensive, but it really isn’t, so don’t be afraid to try this recipe!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      October 20, 2022

      Nice, the effort is definitely worth it! Thank you for sharing your experience trying out this recipe.

      Reply

  • Marilyn
    October 11, 2022

    Hi Natasha,
    I found this recipe after I had already begun the task using the recipe in my 66 year old cookbook. (wedding present)
    Wish I had found yours first.
    I am using black plums from the supermarket and maybe that’s the problem.
    It is really bland. Probably too sweet. Cut sugar but still not as good as I remember plum jam to be.
    So disappointed.
    I usually make apricot with dried apricots that we get at Trader Joe’s here in Tucson.
    No apricots this year so thought I’d try something else.
    Trying to figure out is there’s some way to salvage this.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      October 11, 2022

      Hi Marilyn, I’m sorry to hear that. I hope you’re able to salvage your recipe. I hope you get to try this recipe in the future.

      Reply

    • ZELDA
      October 20, 2022

      Add some lemon juice and zest and a little cardamom or star anise.

      Reply

  • Jean
    October 4, 2022

    Hi Natasha ,I think you are using Dansom plums ,I’ve used them before but use blue plums that are a little bigger and not round

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 5, 2022

      Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

      Reply

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