Monday, 12 September 2011

Spiced Plum Jam

One of the great things about making your own jam (and this also holds true if you make your own wine too) is that once you tell people about your hobby, you will never be short of the raw materials.  Anyone who has a fruit tree in their garden will soon be presenting you with carrier bags and boxes full of apples, pears, plums and anything else you can comfortably grow in your back yard.

This free food is amazing, and the generosity of friends is very much appreciated, but it does beg the question of why the purveyors of fruit aren't turning them into jams, wines, pies, crumbles and assorted other goodies instead of passing them on to me.  I for one am not complaining (and never having owned a fruit tree, perhaps the quantities produced are enough to satisfy anyone's fruit-lust and still have some to spare)

So here we go with another jam recipe, this time a spiced plum jam.  I love plums, can't get enough of them - they are perhaps my favourite fruit.  I have a habit of liking them very un-ripe and sour, and as a consequence, I get told off for eating them before anyone else has a chance to.  The plums we were given were a lot more ripe than that, which is better for making jam with (and also stopped me from eating too many when they were being pitted, which is probably for the best).

 This jam is a wonderfully spicy, fruity taste that made the whole kitchen smell like Christmas, even though it's only September.  Blimey, less than 100 days, need to start planning some Christmas posts...

This recipe only makes 3 jars - I only had a limited amount of plums and wanted to do a few different things with them.  Feel free to increase the amounts should you have bushels of plums (can you measure plums in bushels?)

650g Plums (pitted)
650g Sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 Cup Water
1 Cinnamon Stick
5 Cloves
8 Cardamom Pods
1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
1/4 tsp Nutmeg

Pit and chop the plums, then wash them.  Place them in a large pan with just enough water to cover them.  Add the sugar, lemon juice and spices, heat the mixture to dissolve the sugar and then simmer for 10 minutes.  The plums will start to break up as they cook. At this point, you can fish out the plum skins if you don't like them in the jam - it's easier than trying to peel the fruit beforehand.

Also, remember to put your jam jars in the oven to sterilize (120ºc for about 20 minutes should do it)

(A good tip is to remember how many cardamom pods and cloves you put in, so you can check they all come out again at the end!)

After 10 minutes, bring the mixture to the boil. Boil hard for another 10 minutes and then test to see if the jam has reached setting point.

As usual, you can check this by putting a saucer in the fridge to chill.  Drop a teaspoonful of jam onto the saucer.  Let it cool.  If you can push a jellied trail through it with you fingernail, it’s ready.

Remember to fish out the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves, then transfer the jam to the sterilized jars and store in a cool dry place.


  1. Lovely! I just picked up some plums at the Farmer's Market and I'll be making spiced jam tomorrow! (may be even tonight if I can get to the shop and get the whole spices--I only have ground spices right now. )

    Thanks for the recipe!

  2. This is a delicious and very easy Plum Jam recipe. I made 15 batches of the jam over 2 weeks in february 2012 for my daughters wedding. 130 small jars went home with our wedding guests and the compliments just keep on coming in.
    This was the first year I used the plum tree at my back door for jam making as it has a small amount of flesh around the seed. but as you can imagine we needed lots of plums. We had a major picking day with all four daughters and son in law to be, then sat down and all de-seeded the crop ready for me to cook. My first batch was the most vibrent red jam and as the plums ripened on the tree for my last batch the jam darkened but still tasted great.
    Im looking forward to plum season in 2013 Thank you forthe delicious recipe.

    1. Wow! Glad you liked it and hope the guests were impressed too! What a good idea for a party favour!

  3. I couldn't get this to set and eventually gave up and bottled it as a syrup for ice cream, etc. The flavour is lovely but I have doubts about the added water and will try again without water and with a little jam sugar in the mix.

    1. It seems to be a bit hit-and-miss when we are making jam, sometimes it sets and sometimes it stays runny - same thing happened with a batch of sloe jam we made a while ago, but the previous batch worked perfectly. Hope you have better luck next time!

  4. I think there may be too much water for this recipe, I am currently twenty minutes into rapid boil and have juice rather than jam...