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Hey friends, juicy, ripe plums are in season and so it's time to make homemade Plum jam without pectin. This recipe is a charm as it is a super simple and easy-to-follow recipe and makes absolutely delicious low-sugar jam. It tastes so good and needs just three pantry ingredients.
I think plum is the best fruit to make jam after strawberry jam because it has a lovely color, and rich thickness and it is scrumptiously tarty.
I love this jam in breakfast with cream and toasted bread and you will too. You can use this plum jam in tarts, creamy desserts, and ice cream toppings, over the pancake, on french toast, in shakes and cocktails, make plum drinks, in shortbreads, and so on.
Plum jam is a great way to preserve the natural fruit goodness and store it whole year-round. Plum is rich in minerals vitamins and anti-oxidants.
What makes homemade plum jam more healthy is you can control the amount of sugar that goes in. You can read more benefits here.
This plum jam has only three ingredients that are Plum, sugar, and lemon. This is a small batch jam recipe that can be doubled or tripled and canned easily.
Plum is the main ingredient so the taste color and texture of plum will reflect in the resulting jam. Try to use a sweeter variety of fully ripened but firm plum. Very sour plums will require extra sugar for a balanced sweet and sour taste. Few visitors have tried this jam recipe with wild plums too and had amazing results. Learn more about Plum varieties here. Do have a look at my favorite plum ice cream and plum drink.
Sugar is a natural preservative in a jam, you need a certain amount of sugar to make jam, especially if making no pectin plum jam. For a sweet jam, you go beyond that amount and make it very sweet. That's why in ingredients, I have mentioned both measures for less and more sugar in jam. The amount of sugar that goes in plum jam also depends on the sweetness of the fruit.
- Using 2 cups of sugar with 1 kg plum (2.2 pounds) will give you sweet and tarty plum jam. And why not make a less sugar more pulp jam at home and ditch the store-bought jam. Great for weight watchers and healthy food lovers. One drawback is that reducing sugar will give you thinner jam. But it tastes good and is spreadable too.
- Using 2.5 cups of sugar with 1 kg plums will make a sweet jam just like the store-bought, of course, better with real ingredients. If you are making jam for kids then I suggest adding extra sugar. You can always start with less sugar and add more as needed.
Lemon is high in pectin and helps to set the jam.
How to make it?
Sterilization steps, optional
Wash two jars (500 ml each) thoroughly with soapy water. Then sterilize jars in boiling water for 8 minutes. Also, boil the metal lids. Alternately, you can place washed jars while they are still wet in the baking tray. And roast jars in a preheated oven (160-180 C) for 15 minutes.
Dry on a clean towel. Let air dry naturally. Also, keep a few little plates or saucers in the freezer for Cold Plate Test.
- Wash and pit fully ripened plums.
- Take pitted plum, sugar, and lemon juice in the wide-based and thick-bottomed pot. No need to remove peels for plum jam. The peels are edible and high in antioxidants. You can adjust sugar to your preference. (Use at least 2 cups for low sugar jam and 2.5 cups for a sweet jam).
- Cook for 20 minutes on medium flame until soft. I like to skim foam from the top to remove dirt particles.
- After 15 minutes, when plums are soft mash them with a potato masher or blend the jam with an immersion blender. The peels are soft and break easily after cooking. If in case you are using a variety of plums with thick skin, they taste like fruit leather in the jam. You can pulse the jam in a blender or immersion blender to make it smooth and thickly spreadable.
- Cook jam for about half an hour on a very slow flame with occasional stirring. Frequently stirring and vigilant observation will be necessary as the jam reaches the setting point. When you draw a line on the spatula and it will stay, the jam is close to the jam setting point.
- Do a cold plate to see jam is ready to set. Place a large drop of hot jam on the freezer cold plate and wait for 30 seconds to cool. At this stage, I stopped but my jam doesn't set absolutely, it's thick and spreadable. You can cook further for a thicker jam. This cold plate test will guide you on what your jam would look when cool. (Do not overcook or the sugar might caramelize and burn to make the jam bitter.)
- Transfer hot jam plum jam to clean and sterilized jars. Place the lid and turn the jars upside down. ( This causes a vacuum and helps avoid condensation. You can even test the seal, but make sure the jar was filled completely leaving only a ½-inch empty space on top.) )
- Store in the fridge if consuming immediately. Or seal it for canning and follow the water bath procedure if intending to store it in the pantry for a longer period. If you find canning overwhelming, freeze the plum jam.
Plum jam can be made, with fresh or frozen plums slices. It is important that plums are pitted before freezing otherwise pitting plums after cooking can be a nuisance.
No, peeling plum for plum jam without pectin is not necessary. In fact, as for most fruits peels are rich in antioxidants and so there is no need to waste them. The fiber from the peel also helps thicken the jam. Most importantly, the skin will disappear after blending.
Plums are high in pectin and it helps the jam to set as it cools. But natural pectin is not as effective as added pectin. So expect a soft jam that is spreadable and thick but not jelly-like or store-bought jam.
Tips for storing jams
This Plum jam has rich color and spreadable consistency since we are not using pectin, it will be thick in the jar but it will not set like regular jam. Check for more information on jams storage here and here.
- Homemade jams last for 4-6 weeks or more in the fridge without preservatives, if a proper sterilization process is followed. Use a clean spoon to serve each time.
- If you freeze jam, they can last up to 6 months or more. Although they never last that long.
- If you intend to seal and store jam at room temperature in the pantry. Then proper canning steps and store jam in the fridge after opening.
If you are making a small batch of jam you will store it in the fridge. And you intend to consume it within 4-6 weeks or freeze it. Then you can skip the sterilization steps. Using clean dry jars should be good enough. Although, I highly recommend following the steps as a precaution. If you want to can jam for storing it at room temperature for 6 months or more then follow the canning procedure mentioned here.
Hungry for more Plums and jams? Check these!
If you try this recipe, I'd LOVE to hear your feedback in the comments. Your 5-ratings motivate me to do my best. Stay connected for more recipes and videos on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube.
Plum Jam Recipe Without Pectin
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs) plum, pitted, fully ripened, firm and sweet variety
- 2 cups sugar, or more for sweeter jam, see notes
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Sterilize two 500 ml jars and their lids in boiling water for 8 minutes. Remove jars and transfer on a clean towel and let it dry naturally. Protip: This steps is optional if consuming jam within 6-8 weeks. Use clean spoon to serve.
- Keep 2 plates for cold plate test in freezer.
- Meanwhile, in a thick bottomed and wide-based pot, take sugar, lemon and plum. Cook for 15 minutes on medium flame until soft.Protip: Cooking time will vary upon the ripeness of fruit. Look for visual signs.
- Then mash plum with a potato masher for chunky jam or blend with immersion blender for smooth consistency. Cook further on slow heat for about half an hour until jam starts to thicken. Protip: Be vigilant around the jam setting point and stir frequently. Do not over-cook or caramelize sugar at the bottom.
- To test consistency put a large drop of jam on cold plate. Wait for 30 secs to cool then make a line between the jam drop with your finger. If the line meets, continue to cook for 5 more minutes. And if it sets then stop cooking. Jam is ready.
- Then ladle hot jam to sterilized jars leaving only ½ inch space empty from the lid. Also, wipe off the rim with a clean and damp towel. Place the lids and turn the jars upside down. Or follow the canning procedure and immerse the jars in the hot water bath for 5 minutes.Protip: Turning jars upside down creates a vaccuum and helps avoid condensation.
- Store jam in fridge and consume within a 1-2 months. Or freeze the jars for upto six months. You may follow canning steps if storing jam at room tempertaure for a year or more.
cheryl anderson says
Wonderful. I added cloves (dried, powdered). I also drained the juice before pureeing because cooking the plums until soft made a *lot* of extra broth. I should have added a bit more lemon juice to make up for what I drained off, but I forgot to. Still, it turned out to be a wonderful spreadable thickness and *so simple.* I never made jam or jelly before, but now I will whenever I get a batch of fruit that's on sale because it's about to go bad. No pectin or hot water bath needed! And I have an excuse to use my lovely immersion blender! Thank you so much, Mariam.
Mariam Sodawater says
Hi Cheryl, I’m so glad you liked it. I wouldn’t suggest draining excess juices. You can burn the moisture on high heat, as the juices have so much flavor. If you really have to drain the juices, use the juice to make plum lemonade orr even plum ice tea would be yum!
Ruby Baldwin says
My jam turned out runny , want can I do to make it more firm?
Mariam Sodawater says
Hi Ruby, over-ripened plums can be lower in pectin and so the gel setting time can be longer.
Blend the jam, as the broken peel can also provide some thickness. Then, simply transfer the jam back to the pot and cook it longer until it reaches the gel setting point. Test it properly by cold plate test. I hope this helps, looking forward to hear from you.
Kate B says
When does the lemon go in? No mention of this….
Mariam Sodawater says
Thanks a lot for mentioning it in the comment. Lemon will go along with sugar.
Esther Ost says
If jars of jam are placed in the freezer, will oit expand & break the jars? Should I leave more head room?
Mariam Sodawater says
Hi Eshther, leaving ½ inch on top should be good. If it's a long narrow jar then consider keeping slightly more space.
Just harvested a super huge crop of plums, made your plum jam recipe and it’s is super easy. My husband worked with me for a few hours pitting and chopping plums. The jam came out perfect, tart/sweet, great consistency just the way we like it. Used pint size ball canning jars, ran out of jars so I also used your freezing tips to store the rest. Thank you so much, about to make homemade bread for dinner and dessert is…you guessed it, bread butter and plum jam!
Mariam Sodawater says
Hey Judy! thank you so much for such detailed and lovely feedback. You've made my day! You have that delicious dinner, pat yourself and your hubby on the back. Great Job.
My jam is really good! Thanks soooo much😀
Mariam Sodawater says
Thanks a lot for leaving a comment. I’m glad you liked it.
Let mine go a little to long. Still spreadable and I used wild plums. Awesome. Thankyou
Recipe 52 says
I’m glad you liked it. 😊