Plum Jam

by Sep 30, 2018

Small batch refrigerator jams give you the pleasure of jam making without all the fuss of canning. You can also play around in ways that are not 100% safe when you’re going for jars on a shelf.  So, let the fruit do the talking and keep sugar to a minimum. Simmer away until it’s the thickness you like. Spoon into a pretty glass jar that will greet you every morning when you open the fridge. Delicious the usual ways, but try a dollop to sweeten your yogurt.


I received a copper jam pan from my husband a couple years ago, and at first I thought it would just be a pretty object for the kitchen. But the first time I used it, I discovered why they are so popular in France. The pan seemed to keep the heat “just right” and every time I’d stir with the long wooden spoon I toted back from Provence many years ago, the beauty of the fruit and the pan would make my mind wander. A simple and beautiful pleasure, that is what jam making can be.


Adjust for high altitude in Bozeman by cooking to about 10°F less on the temps (less air pressure, so water boils at a lower temp…around 200°F instead of the sea-level 212°F…so all those candy making temps need to come down by the delta).


Plum Jam

adapted from David Lebovitz's Mirabelle Jammakes one 8 oz. jar


  • 1 pound plums halved and pitted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • water


  1. Add the plums, sugar, and lemon juice to your pot and add water to about 1/4-inch depth.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened.  (You can eye-ball it, but you're going for about 218 - 220°F on a candy thermometer (adjust down about 10 degrees for 5000 ft. elevation).)

Recipe Notes / Tips

  • Refrigerate.  Keeps at least 2 weeks.
  • Sour Cherry Jam:  same proportion of fruit to sugar + lemon juice
  • Try with figs, strawberries, or other fruits in season
  • Optional:  After cooking, add a spoon of balsamic vinegar or liqueur 

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