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 – but 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 gift for friends and family as you can make well in advance.
- 1.5kg (3lb) red plums
- 1.5kg (3lb) granulated sugar
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.
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.
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.
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.