This homemade plum jam is a very easy and delicious way to preserve your fruit this winter. You only need a few basic ingredients to create a delicious preserve without pectin. Serve it at breakfast or with desserts and enjoy it all year round.

Jams have an important place in Turkish food culture as a breakfast food. So our delicious jam recipes on this blog are all made in Turkish style. Check out our black mulberry jam recipe with no pectin, easy lemon jam and whole strawberry jam recipe. They are all easy to make!

Plum jam in a small white bowl with a spoon in it and toasted mini bread slices and fresh thyme all in a basket.
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Why We Like This Recipe

  • This is a plum jam recipe without pectin. While commercial pectin is generally safe to eat, we don’t prefer using it as we don’t want our jams to be very thick or solid. Also, plums contain natural fruit pectin, so there is no need to add extra.
  • This is an easy recipe. There is no peeling or mashing of the plums involved. This means you have a lot less work to do and can just combine plums with the other ingredients.
  • This is a fantastic and delicious way to preserve plums during the winter months. They can be stored in a dark place for up to 12 months, or in the refrigerator for short-term storage.
  • Thanks to the addition of the butter, there is a lot less scum or foam that forms on the jam.
  • We love serving it with thin crepes or fluffy pancakes.
Fresh plums in a large bowl, lemon, sugar and butter on the side.

About The Ingredients

Damson plums: For this easy plum jam recipe, we prefer using damson plums. These fresh plums have a well-balanced sweet and sour flavor. They are one of our favorite stone fruits.

Fresh damson plums in a basket.

We use them when baking apple plum cake too. You can, however, use any variety of juicy plums like red plums, yellow plums, purple plums or wild plums. You can even combine different types of plums.

Sugar: You can use any type of sugar you’d like. Brown sugar will add a more caramel-like flavor to the damson jam which we quite like. You can also add less sugar to the recipe, but don’t reduce the quantity by too much. You will have a very tart flavor profile without sugar.

Butter: The addition of butter is essential for this recipe as it helps reduce the amount of scum or foam that forms on top of the jam. To substitute the butter for this specific purpose, the next best thing is margarine. There aren’t many substitutes that will help clarify your jam without affecting the flavor too much.

Fresh lemon juice: Every homemade plum jam needs some sort of acid to help set the fruit jam. Lemon juice is a fantastic choice, but alternatively, you can use citric acid. It will work in a slightly different way but will get the job done.

How To Make

This is one of our favorite homemade jams and is very easy to make. We follow the same easy steps for almost all our jam recipes. You don’t need a ton of any special ingredients to create some amazing fruity jam flavors!

Chopped damson plums on a wooden board with a knife on the side and whole plums in a large glass bowl.

First, prepare the plums: Cut the plums into quarters or eights depending on how chunky you want your jam to be. Remove the stones and place the slices into a large pot.

Sliced plums covered with granulated sugar in a white pan.

Pour sugar over the slices and allow them to sit for at least 7 hours or overnight so that they can release moisture. You might want to add less sugar if you are using overripe plums.

Sliced plums after waiting covered with sugar overnight.

Second, cook the jam: After letting them sit covered with sugar for hours, you will see they release juice. Place the large pot over medium heat and allow the sugar and plum mixture to cook uncovered while stirring occasionally.

Chunky plum jam cooking with a dollop of butter in a pan.

Before the jam starts boiling, add the butter and mix it in. This will help prevent the form of foams on the surface.

Jam with sliced damson plums cooking in a white bottomed pan.

Once the jam comes to a full rolling boil, lower the heat so the jam simmers for 30 minutes, again, while stirring occasionally. Skim any foam that forms on top of your jam using a slotted spoon.

Dropping a little jam into a glass of cold water to test the consistency of the plum jam.

Third, test the consistency of the jam. Drop a small dollop of jam into very cold water. If it drops to the bottom of the container or glass without mixing with the water, you have a perfect consistency! This water is just to check if the consistency is right. Don’t pour it in the jam!

A hand pouring lemon juice with a small white bowl into the cooking plum jam.

Finally, stir in the lemon juice and allow the jam to simmer for another 5 minutes.

Damson plum jam with its beautiful red color in a pan.

How To Store

Long-term storage: Place the hot jam into sterilized hot jars and screw on the lid. Turn the jar upside down and allow it to sit at room temperature until they are completely cool. Once the jam jars are cool enough, place upright in a dry and dark place for up to a year.

Short-term storage: If you make a small batch of jam and use it within a few weeks, simply allow it to cool completely before placing it inside a jar and sealing it with an airtight lid.

No matter if it is for long term or short term, store your jam in glass jars!

Small batch plum jam in a glass jar.

How To Sterilize

  • If you are new to sterilizing jars, follow these easy steps; pre-heat the oven to 275°F (140°C). Use hot soapy water (for sterilizing jars) and rinse them well. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the wet jars on it. Place them inside the hot oven for 20 minutes.
  • While the jars are drying in the oven, boil the lids inside hot water. Drain the lids once done.
  • Once the jars have finished drying, turn off the oven and leave them inside with the door closed until you are ready to use them. Use your sterilized jars while they are still hot for long-term storage.

Tips

  • We prefer a nice chunky jam, so we simply cut them into thick slices without even peeling them. You can mash some with a potato masher or food mill while they are simmering.
  • If you don’t want to wait 7 or 8 hours for the plums to release their juices, simply pour ¼ cup of water over the sugar and plum slices. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat and stir occasionally.
  • Using a wooden spoon is highly recommended as it doesn’t transfer a ton of heat. Using a metal spoon might be dangerous as they are very conductive. Sugar gets extremely hot, it might burn your hand.
  • Always pour the hot jam into a hot jar. When the jar is cold, the intense heat might cause it to crack. Also, be very careful when pouring the jam into the jars. Sugar gets extremely hot and will give you severe burns. Use oven gloves or a kitchen towel to help hold the jars.
  • Use small jars to make small batches of jam. This way less jam is opened and exposed at a time. It will make your overall batch last longer. Keep the opened jars in the refrigerator once opened.
  • Use a dry spoon when removing jam from your batch. The added moisture from a wet spoon will shorten the shelf life of the jam.
  • This recipe makes roughly 4-5 jars of jam, each jar measuring at 250ml (8.5 oz).
Plum jam served in a small white bowl with toasted bread bites topped with jam all in a basket.

FAQs

Do you peel plums when making jam?

There is no reason to remove the plum skins before cooking. They will cook completely soft and will add texture to this delicious plum jam.

How long does homemade plum jam last?

Plum preserves, if canned and stored correctly, can last up to a year in a cool dark place. Once the jar has been opened it will last roughly 3 months inside the fridge.
 
Fresh jam (that wasn’t canned in sterilized jars for long-term storage) can be kept in an airtight container inside the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks.

Can I put less sugar in my jam?

You can add less sugar to your recipe, but don’t go overboard with the reduction. Start with a 1:1 ratio (1 part sugar and 1 part plums), then next time you make the recipe you can reduce the quantity even more if you want to.
 
You do need sugar in your plum recipe, especially if your fresh plums aren’t ripe enough. Unripe plums are extremely tart so sugar helps add and intensify the flavor.

Why is my plum jam so sour?

Sour plum jam can either be because of unripe plums, because the jam was overcooked, or because there isn’t enough sugar in the recipe.

What spices go with plum jam?

You can add cinnamon sticks or cloves in your plum jam right before removing it from the heat. Their flavors go well with it.

As always: If you make this recipe, let us know what you think by rating it and leaving a comment below. And post a pic on Instagram too—tag @give_recipe so we can see!

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📖 Recipe

Damson Plum Jam Recipe No Pectin

Small batch plum jam without pectin photographed in a glass jar.

Homemade damson plum jam without pectin.

  • Author: Zerrin
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 jars (250ml) 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: Turkish
  • 2 lbs/1 kilo plums (we use damson plums)
  • 1,5 lbs/650g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Cut the plums in four or eight depending on how chunky you like your jam. Remove the stones. Put the plum slices in a large pot.
  2. Pour sugar over the slices. Let them sit covered for 7-8 hours or overnight so that they release their juice. 
  3. Place the pot over medium heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. When it is hot enough, add in butter before it starts to boil. Bring it to a full rolling boil and reduce the heat. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes, again stirring occasionally. If you see any foams, skim it with a spoon.
  4. Now check the consistency of the jam: Drop a little jam into very cold water in a glass. If it doesn’t get mixed with water and reaches the bottom of the glass, it has the right consistency. 
  5. Add in lemon juice now and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. 
  6. If you are planning to keep it for a long time: Transfer the hot jam in sterilized hot jars using a ladle and a funnel. Screw on the lid. Turn the jar upside down and let it sit until it cools completely. Store it in a dark place for months.
  7. If you are planning to consume it in a short time: Let the jam in the pot cool completely. Then put it in a jar and keep it covered. It is better to consume it within 1-2 weeks.

Notes

  1. We don’t peel the plums, just cut them into thick slices. We keep it chunky. If you want, you can mash some of it with a potato masher or food mill when it is simmering.
  2. If you don’t want to wait for 7-8 hours or overnight, pour ¼ cup of water over plum slices and sugar. Bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. 
  3. It might be easier to use a wooden spoon when stirring the simmering jam in the pot. Metal spoon gets hot when stirring the jam and might burn your hand.
  4. To sterilize the jars: Heat the oven at 275F/140C. Wash your jars in soapy water. Rinse them very well and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet without drying. Put them in the oven and heat for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, sterilize the lids in boiling water for 20 minutes and drain.
  5. Don’t pour hot jam into cold jars. It might cause the jar to crack. 
  6. After heating the jars in the oven, you can turn it off and let your jars sit in the oven with the door closed until your jam is ready.
  7. Be careful when pouring the hot jam into hot jars. You can use oven gloves or kitchen towel to hold the hot jars.
  8. Using small jars is better. Keep it in the refrigerator once opened.
  9. Make sure you use a dry spoon when taking out some jam from the jar. If it is wet, your jam will go bad in a short time.
  10. Makes 4-5x250ml (8.5 oz) jars

Keywords: plum jam, damson jam, plum jam without pectin

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