Simple Plum Jam
The easiest Jam to make at home
Plums are both high in Pectin and acid, the two essential elements in jam making. You don't need to add any extras at all to plum jam! Just add the right amount of sugar, heat correctly and within 30 minutes you will have sweet and delicate home made jam!
In order to make Plum Jam all you need is the following:
- A large pan (a preserving pan is best but don't worry if you don't have one).
- A wooden spoon (which is kinder to the bottom of your pan and avoids scratches).
- One or two preserving jars with lids.
- One side plate.
- One small fruit knife
Before you start put your side plate in the fridge. This will come in handy when we test the setting point of the jam.
It is also vitally important that you sterilise your jars. To do this place the jar(s), and lids in a pan, cover with cold water and put on a medium heat. Once the water is boiling, leave for five minutes, also ensuring you turn the jar if not fully submerged. Then leave to dry while you make the Jam.
Cook Time for Home made Plum Jam
As long as pectin is in enough abundance within the fruit, it will set after it reaches a certain temperature, allowing us to make Jam!
If you ever make jam with low pectin fruit, such as Blueberries you will need to either add special high pectin sugar or an additional high pectin fruit such as lemons.
- 500 Grams Plums
- 400 Grams Granulated Sugar
- 130 Grams Water
You can use any variety of Plum or Cherry plum for this recipe. I found mine from a tree on a little used public footpath in September!
- Sterilise your jars as described above and set to dry. Now put a small plate in the fridge so that it will be cold when you need it.
- Use a small fruit knife to half the plums. If you start in the little dimple that all plums have push the knife through the flesh until you hit the stone, then firmly cut around 360 degrees. Twist the two halves and it should come apart easily. Take out the stones.
- Put your halved plums into your pan and cover with the water. Now turn onto a medium to high heat and leave, stirring occassionally until your plums loose their shape and become soft. This should take 20 minutes or so.
- Now is an ideal time to use your wooden spoon to break the plums up if you don't like large chunks in your jam.
- Turn the plums onto a low heat and add the sugar all at once. Now stir continuously for 5 minutes. Be thorough because if your sugar does not fully dissolve then you will end up with part jam part hard caramel.
- Now turn onto a medium to high heat once more (or until you get a rolling boil). Do not stir once the boil has started, leave for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes leave the heat on while you take your plate out of the fridge. Take a tiny dollop from the pan and place it in the centre of the plate. Leave to cool for 10 seconds then turn the plate upside down. If your jam does not drip then it is fully set. If it does still look a bit wet then leave for another 2 minutes.
- Pour directly into your Jam jar and put the lid on. Leave to cool completely before tasting.
Tips when making plum jam
- Disperse scum by stirring the finished product in the pan vigorously. Scum is just trapped air and is nothing to worry about.
- Dry your sterilised jars in a very low oven. Take out a minute before putting the jam into. Hot jam prefers warm jars and helps a consistent set. (It also reduces the risk of breaking the glass with the sudden change in temperature).
- Try breaking the plum stones. Inside you will find little nut like kernels. Cover with boiled water from the kettle for 1 minute only and the brown skin will rub straight off, now add to the plums when you begin to make your jam. This will give an extra nutty dimension to the jam.
- Add 1 bay leaf, 3 peppercorns, 1 tbsp of cinnamon and half of 1 orange zest at the start of the process for an unbelievable deep, rich flavour which is more akin to very good mulled wine. Excellent at Christmas.