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 post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Connie Bussey
    September 12, 2014

    Started a batch last night and after first boil hubby couldn’t stay out of it, needless to say went out and picked more plums. Can’t wait to see final result. Love that it can wait a day or two to finish up. Wish I had seen the peach preserves one before I finished canning my peaches.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 12, 2014

      🙂 I can just imagine the scene in your kitchen ;). How sweet! I hope you both love the final product! It’s such a nice treat in winter.

      Reply

  • Mary McCoy
    September 8, 2014

    Those are Italian prunes — yummy!

    Reply

    • Jo Ann C
      September 13, 2014

      Yes, they are Italian prune/plums. I got some at Costco and have made 2 tortes. They are getting overripe and would like to make the jam. Can it be frozen. I have done other jams and froze them in the jars. I am going to try to germinate the seeds and attempt to grow a tree. Thank you.

      Reply

  • Kelli
    September 8, 2014

    Does anyone know if this recipe will work with less plums? I have 4 pounds from the neighbor’s tree, can I cut it in thirds? Or do you think I should beg, borrow, steal or buy some more? Thank you:)

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 8, 2014

      You can cut it down, just keep in mind it won’t take as long to heat up and stir often, especially towards the end so it doesn’t scorch.

      Reply

  • Momoftwins
    September 6, 2014

    Dear Natasha,
    I have been making jams for a long time.But plum jam was not one of my favorite.My husband happened to buy a lots of plum last month. I thought about making jam with it.I decided to cruise on line to find a different method and landed on your blog. I have to say that your recipe is the best out of all.My family and I love my plum jam. Plum jam is one of my favorite now:) Thanks to you.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 6, 2014

      Thank you so much for a great review, your comment is music to my ears :D. Our plum tree about the fall over from abundance of fruit on it, so it’s to make more plum jam.

      Reply

  • Cindy Lou
    September 5, 2014

    They look like my plumbs, mt Royal plumbs from dwarf tree tons of fruit!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 6, 2014

      They are Mount Royal plums and our little tree looks like it has more plums than leaves :D.

      Reply

  • Ingrid
    August 30, 2014

    We call them Damson plums.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 30, 2014

      Thanks! 🙂

      Reply

  • gail
    August 28, 2014

    when making this recipe how much water do you add in the beginning when you first start boiling the plums

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 28, 2014

      You don’t add any water. The sugar on the plums will create juice in the pot.

      Reply

  • Adrienne
    August 27, 2014

    Can I freeze this jam?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 27, 2014

      I think it would freeze well. If you are freezing it, there’s no need to do the oven heating in step 4.

      Reply

  • Judy
    August 24, 2014

    Help. I’m looking for a recipe for prune-plum/rhubarb jam. I have made it before by fluke and can’t remember how I did it?
    can you help?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 25, 2014

      I have a great plum pie recipe but nothing with rhubarb. That’s a great idea though! Thanks for the idea 🙂

      Reply

  • tami
    August 22, 2014

    I am new to making jams (or canning in general). So, I have a few stupid questions: I have cooked it 4 times-each time it is getting thicker so I know at least that part is doing what it’s supposed. What I don’t understand is how do I know it’s thick enough? Because it’s hot after simmering each cycle, how do I know that it’s ready to pour into cans and that it will thicken into a jam? I am assuming it should be the same consistency as store bought jam/jellies. Is that wrong?

    The second question is: How long after I put it in the jars (and they seal) will it take for it to reach whatever thickness it is going to? (Meaning once it cools down? The next day?) When I pour it in the jars it will be hot so I would assume (again) that is not the final consistency.

    Thanks~

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 22, 2014

      It does thicken slightly as it cools and once it’s at room temp, you will notice the difference (6 hours or so). Since there is no pectin in this recipe, it will be a little bit less thick than the ones at the store, but it should not be watery. A store-bought jam won’t move on your spoon, but this one will sink into your spoon. I hope that makes sense; it’s the best I can think of to describe the consistency. You can really cook it to the consistency that you want it to be with each boil down.

      Reply

      • Faye
        December 7, 2014

        I find a quick and easy way to test the jams consistency is to put a small spoonful on a small plate in the freezer for approximately five minutes then check. You should be able to adjust the boiling time accordingly.

        Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          December 7, 2014

          That is a great tip! Thank you so much Faye!! 🙂

          Reply

  • Katherine Murphy
    August 18, 2014

    YUM!!!! This past weekend, after picking 19 lbs of plums from a tree in our yard, I made this jam following your excellent directions. YUM!!!! It was a little hot and time-consuming, but SO WORTH IT. I didn’t think the peels would so completely break down, and I’m thrilled to have a “whole fruit” jam instead of a jelly, which is basically fruit-flavored pectin sugar. SUCH DELICIOUS JAM!!!! I think I’ll use another 6 lbs to make a half-batch. YUM!! The only thing that was different from your directions is that I had around 2 pints MORE than the 8 pints you specified, and I hadn’t prepped enough jars and lids. No problem — I have simply refrigerated the additional jam and I’m sure it will be gone in a few days. YUM!!! I can’t thank you enough. Next year, I’m going to enter it in the Minnesota State Fair (missed the deadline by just a few days this year). YUM!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 18, 2014

      I’d love to hear how that state fair competition goes next year. I hope you win first place! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the recipe 🙂

      Reply

  • Cory
    August 11, 2014

    Got a ton of Satsuma and Santa Rosa’s this year! We were excited as this is the first year to do well. Trees are about 5 years old.

    Just finished the first boil. Smells and tastes great! Probably finish it off over the next couple days. I’ll keep you posted! Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 11, 2014

      It looks like we’ll have a good crop this year too :). I’m so happy to hear yours are doing well. After 5 years, that’s pretty exciting!! 🙂

      Reply

  • Shwetal
    August 8, 2014

    Hi Natasha
    I tried this recipe and the result was the most yummilicious jam ever! my enjoyed it and husband couldn’t resist asking for just that one more spoonful to spread on the toast!

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Smile n shine
    Shwetal

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 9, 2014

      Shwetal, thank you for a great review, I’m so happy that you like that jam 🙂

      Reply

  • Tanya
    July 24, 2014

    Just finished. Jam tastes great! 1 question. Flipped jars upside down after taking them out of the oven and they’ve been sitting on my counter, still boiling for the past 10 minutes. Is that normal? Thanx

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 24, 2014

      Are you sure they are boiling or is it just air bubbles coming up?

      Reply

      • Tanya
        July 24, 2014

        They were bubbling up side-down for a good 15 minutes after I took them out of the oven. I guess thats normal though, since the oven temp was high.

        Reply

  • Saba
    July 20, 2014

    Hi Natasha,

    Just got finished canning the plums using your recipe. However, when i put them upside down after leaving 1/4 inch space and they were hot, it seeped thru. Should I have waited until it cooled before submerging them in the boiling hot water? Anyway, your recipe is delicious. Thank you.

    Saba

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 20, 2014

      It should not have seeped through unless the lids were not on tight enough. Were they on loosely? You might leave a little more space at the top next time.

      Reply

  • Cindy
    July 15, 2014

    whats the purpose of cooling upside down?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 15, 2014

      It helps to seal the lids in place.

      Reply

  • Simone
    July 13, 2014

    These are Santa Rosa Plums! They are my favorite. Sweet and make beautiful jam!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 13, 2014

      They sure do! Thanks Simone 🙂

      Reply

  • EMily
    July 8, 2014

    Great recipe! I just finished canning a white plum preserve. It is delicious. The fresh fruit flavor is so tart & savory! It’s a hit with our family! Thank you for sharing!!!

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 8, 2014

      White plum preserves sound awesome!

      Reply

  • Sarah
    June 26, 2014

    Someone may have answered already, so I apologize in advance. They are damsons

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 26, 2014

      Thank you Sarah 🙂

      Reply

  • Kate
    June 20, 2014

    Hello! I just make the plum jam and it tastes and looks beautiful.

    One question with the process…when I put the jars of jam into the oven to “bake” for 15 minutes, they boiled over making a mess of the jars and my oven.

    Any thoughts on what I did wrong? I am new to canning.

    Thanks,
    Kate

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 21, 2014

      You might add a little less to each jar next time. Also, did you out it in the center of the oven and not leave it in there too long?

      Reply

As Featured On

Never Go "Hangry" Again!

Get weekly updates on new recipes, exclusive giveaways plus behind the scenes photos.