The first homemade jam I ever tasted was made with homegrown plums. I was just four or five years old and the trees in our backyard were having a bumper year. My mom picked enough to fill her yellow enamel colander, gave them a good rinse under the tap, and turned them in sweet, slightly drippy preserves. We ate those plums over pancakes and with oatmeal every chance we got.
Though I will often tell people that blueberries are my foundational fruit (and they were the star in my very first solo batch of jam), there is something about the flavor of plum jam that makes my brain go, “ah yes, THIS is what homemade jam should taste like.”
I recently made my first batch of plum jam for this season (I was asked by Anolon gourmet cookware to develop this particular recipe), from the same kind of sturdy black plums that used to grow in our southern California yard. I added a little ground cardamom for extra depth and I cooked the whole thing in the 7.5 quart wide stock pot from the Anolon Advanced line. Though I don’t normally gravitate towards non-stick cookware for jam making, the width and low walls of the pan made it irresistible.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post (hopefully that was clear before you got to this disclosure statement). Anolon has compensated me for the creation of the plum jam recipe. They sent me the stockpot in which I made the jam (I did really like it, though), and they’re providing the cookware set for the giveaway. The thoughts and words are still all entire mine.
- 5 pounds plums
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Wash plums well and cut them in half to remove pits. Slice the plums into thin half moons and heap them into a low, wide pan.
- Add the sugar and stir to combine. Cover the pan and let the plums macerate for at least an hour.
- When the plums are quite juicy and most of the sugar has dissolved, remove the cover from the pan and place it on the stove.
- Add the cardamom and lemon juice and bring the fruit to a boil.
- Cook the fruit at a controlled boil, stirring regularly, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the plums soften and the syrup thickens. You’ll know when the jam is done because it will become more resistant to stirring, and when you pull the spoon out of the pan, the droplets will be thick and slow moving.
- While the plums cook, prepare a boiling water bath canner and 8 half pint jars.
- When the jam is done, remove the pan from the heat. Funnel it into the prepared jars.
- Wipe the rims, apply the heated lids and clean rings, and process the closed jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (do not start your timer until the pot returns to a full, rolling boil).
- Once the time is up, remove the jars from the canner and set them on a folded kitchen towel to cool. The lids should seal promptly and will often make a pinging or popping sound as the vacuum forms. When the jars are sealed, the center of the lids will be concave and when pressed, the lid will not move or wiggle.