Plum jam recipe

(408 ratings)

If you have a plum tree in your garden with lots of fruit on it, this is a perfect recipe to use them up. This very fruity, easy to make jam, first published in 1978, tastes great on toast or scones

plum jam recipe
(Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo)
Preparation Time15 mins
Cooking Time45 mins
Total Time1 hours

If you have a plum tree in your garden with lots of fruit on it, this is a perfect recipe to use them up. Unlike other plum jam recipes, this very fruity, easy to make jam, was first published back in 1978 - and it still tastes great. Enjoy it on toast or, even better, homemade scones. This easy plum jam recipe only uses two ingredients. Homemade plum jam will last around 3 months stored in a sterilised, airtight jar in the fridge. It’s the perfect homemade food gift for friends and family as you can make well in advance.


  • 1.5kg (3lb) red plums
  • 1.5kg (3lb) granulated sugar




  1. Remove stalks and bruised parts of the plums, halve and remove stones. Put the fruit in a preserving pan with 450ml (3/4 pint) water, cover pan with a lid, and cook over a low heat until skins are soft, about 25 mins.
  2. Take off the lid; increase the heat and cook for about 20 mins, until the volume of fruit has been reduced by two thirds. Stir occasionally to prevent the fruit from sticking to the pan.
  3. Add sugar and plum kernels (see tip) and heat gently to dissolve sugar. Add the butter, then bring to boil rapidly — a “rolling boil” — for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally, then test for setting (its temperature should be 105°C or 222°F on a sugar thermometer). Or cool a tsp of jam on a cold saucer: it should wrinkle when you push it with your finger.
  4. Leave the jam to cool for 10 mins before potting into warm, sterilised jars, putting a wax disc on top, then covering with cellophane. Label and date.
Top Tip for making Plum jam

Break open a few plum stones to get the kernels. Cover with a cloth and tap firmly with a hammer, or use a nutcracker, and add to pan with sugar.

The best way to make plum jam is to skin your plums before boiling down to make jam. Taking the skin off the plums will mean there will be no tough or chewy bits in your smooth homemade jam.

If however you choose to leave the skin on, you may want to run the fruit through a blender or food processor before boiling. This will make sure they are more finely chopped up.

If you’ve followed the recipe correctly and used the right quantities your plum jam should set as it cools. This may take a little longer as plum contain high levels of pectin which can often have an impact on how long it takes your jam to set. Pectin doesn’t really solidify or set until the jam has cooled completely.

The best way to make sure your jam is set is to do a jam test. Put a plate into the freezer and leave whilst you make your jam. Once you think its reached peak simmering time, carefully take a teaspoon out and pour onto the plate which has just been taken out of the freezer. If the jam sets after about 5 mins, once cooled, then your jam is ready and can be taken off the heat. If its still running keep cooking and check again in another 5 mins or so.

Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 12 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies