Pectin-Free Plum Jam

plum jam on toast.jpg

This pectin-free jam is much thicker than syrup, but still easily spreadable–just the way my family likes it.  Avoiding pectin allows you to limit the sugar in your jam.  This recipe has twice as much fruit as sugar.


My mom gave me a box of plums from her plum tree.  I’m not sure what variety they were, but they were refreshingly different than the ones in the store.  The plums had nice overtones of flavor, instead of the bland, watery taste of some plums.  The plums made wonderful jam with lots of sweet and tart, fruity flavor.  If you are ever at a farmers market and have the chance to try some different variety of plums–do it.  You won’t be disappointed.

This recipe works with whatever plums or stone fruits you have and is very simple to make.

Pectin-Free Plum Jam

makes 4 1/2 pints

8 cups chopped plums (1800 g) (A food processor works great)

4 cups sugar (890 g)

juice from 1/2 lime or lemon

Using a heavy stock pot, place ingredients over medium heat and stir frequently.  After 10 minutes of boiling, turn the heat to medium-low.  The jam will burn, so don’t leave it unattended.

Keeping a cold plate in the freezer allows you to easily test the thickness of the jam.  Place a spoonful of jam on the cold plate, and test it with your finger to see if it is thick enough.  It shouldn’t be too runny.  As the jam becomes thicker, the boiling changes from a fast rolling boil to a thicker, slower boil with less foam (see pictures).

When the jam gets to the consistency that you are happy with, remove from heat.  Pour the hot jam into hot jars (this will help guard against the glass breaking when you add the hot jam.   For shelf-stable jam process the jam in a hot water bath for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude.  Or, you can store the unprocessed jam in the fridge for several weeks.


4 thoughts on “Pectin-Free Plum Jam

  1. Yes, it does thicken. It is not as thick as some store-bought jam, but I prefer it a bit thinner. If you want it a little thicker, try cooking it a longer on a low heat (in a heavy bottomed pan to prevent scorching). Test the consistency by putting a little bit of jam on a cold plate to see if it is thick enough to your liking.


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