Plum Jam Recipe

Yields: Approximately 5-6 half-pint jars
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: Approximately 1-1.5 hours


  • 4 lbs ripe plums: Choose any variety you like. A mix adds complexity.
  • 2-3 cups granulated sugar: Start with 2 cups, adjust for sweetness later.
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice: Freshly squeezed is best.
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger (optional)
  • Pinch of ground cloves (optional)


  • Large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven
  • Potato masher or immersion blender (optional)
  • Ladle
  • Sterilized half-pint canning jars and lids (if canning)


Prepare the plums:

  • Wash plums thoroughly under cold water.
  • Halve plums, remove pits.
  • Roughly chop the plum halves into smaller pieces.

Macerate (optional but recommended):

  • In a large bowl, combine plums, sugar, and lemon juice.
  • Add spices if using. Stir well to coat the fruit.
  • Cover and let sit for at least 1 hour, or overnight in the refrigerator, to draw out juices.

Cook the jam:

  • Transfer plum mixture to your pot.
  • Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
  • Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, and cook for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface.

Test for doneness:

  • Spoon test: Dip a cold spoon into the jam, then lift it out horizontally. If the jam coats the back of the spoon in a thick sheet and doesn’t run, it’s likely set.
  • Plate test: Place a small plate in the freezer. Put a small dollop of jam on the chilled plate. Push your finger through the jam; if it wrinkles, it’s ready.

Adjust texture (optional):

  • Chunky: Leave as is if you like a chunky texture.
  • Smoother: Mash the plums gently with a potato masher for a slightly smoother consistency.
  • Smooth: Use an immersion blender for completely smooth jam.

Canning (optional):

  • For shelf-stable storage, follow proper canning procedures. This involves sterilizing jars, processing them in a water bath canner, and ensuring a proper seal.


  • Refrigerator: If not canning, cool jam completely. Ladle into clean jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace at the top. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
  • Freezer: For longer storage, freeze in freezer-safe containers for up to a year.


  • Sweetness: Taste the jam as it cooks and add more sugar if needed. Plum sweetness varies.
  • Spices: Experiment! A pinch of cardamom, a vanilla bean, or a touch of star anise can add delicious complexity.
  • Batch size: Double the recipe if you have lots of plums, but use a wider pot for faster evaporation.


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