Plum Cardamom Jam

August 12, 2014(updated on August 30, 2021)

finished plum cardamom jam

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.

syrupy plums

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.”

finished plum jam

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. 

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Plum Cardamom Jam

Servings: 8 half pints


  • 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.

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600 thoughts on "Plum Cardamom Jam"

  • We have All-Clad cookware and I love all my pots and pans. My husband and I cook a lot, and our kids join in too, and although they are heavy, they are amazing to cook with!

  • Love my Le Creuset dutch oven AND my cast iron skillets! Can’t wait to try the plum cardamom jam!

  • My cast iron griddle. One side is flat and the other ribbed. Since it fits over 2 burners, either side will cook an entire meal for 2.

  • I was browsing the shelves at my local Value U Village and I came across large, orange Le Cruset skillet. The moment I saw it I let out a little gasp and grabbed it up as fast as I could. While a little heavy, it has been a great skillet and I love the story of how I got it!

  • My cookware is in pretty shabby shape right now because I’m a student (almost 30, in grad school, and just haven’t ever had the budget for nice cookware). I just had to replace my nonstick pan after it overheated. The new one, as cheap as it was, is amazing!! I cooked pancakes without a drop of oil or butter. Granted, butter would have made them taste better. But it didn’t stick!

  • A free non-stick skillet I got by collecting stamps at the grocery store. It’s the one pan I haven’t managed to ruin.

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  • The last gift my mother gave me was a set of black Le Creuset pots and pans. I think of her and smile when I use them. She probably knew that would happen when she gifted them to me.

  • I use my stainless steel skillet for most of my small batch jams and jellies – the size is just right and it’s so easy to clean.

  • I prefer anodized aluminum to other metals for cookware, so I would love the Analon set. Having to choose my favorite of what I already have, I’d have to go with my Calphalon skillet. It’s great for skillet pastas, curries, cornbread, and almost anything else I’d throw at it.

  • I love my Revere Ware copper-clad Dutch oven that I got as part of a set for a wedding shower gift 25 YEARS AGO! I have used that one piece at least once a week for all the weeks I have been married. I even made my FIRST EVER black raspberry jam in it this year!! It reminds me so much of my Grandma to make black raspberry jam. It was the most highly anticipated and absolute best birthday gift I ever received to get a small jar of this jam from her. 🙂

  • I love my dutch oven! I’m ready for cooler weather so I can make more soups and stews in it. But today, we get to make peach jam together. 🙂

  • The go-to item I usually fall back on is my steamer pot. I don’t like to cook veggies in water, so I prefer to steam them, and if I cook down the water I can add it to stock for soup!

  • I love my nearly 100 year old cast iron skillet. Used to be my great-grandma’s who lived to be 102! Who said new is better??

  • I use my 16 gallon stockpot from a local discount store (it cost a whopping $14 on sale) the most in my kitchen. I love to make jam and pickles. My co-workers complain at Christmas if I don’t bring them each a jar of something special. I really enjoy doing it. The satisfaction of seeing those lovely jars on the pantry shelves is quite gratifying. I’d love to have a dutch oven. There are so many wonderful recipes I can’t try because I don’t have one. I keep looking on the clearance shelves but I haven’t seen one yet. Fingers crossed.

  • I received a set of cast iron pans for Christmas last year and I have been loving them! They require a bit more effort, but the way they cook everything makes it worth it.

  • My favorite piece of cookware is a teal enameled cast iron Dutch oven. It’s great for just about everything, and after five years, it still looks great on the table 🙂

  • I suppose if I had to pick a single piece of cookware to keep above all others it’d be a nice Dutch oven. I find that that’s the piece I turn to most often in my kitchen. About a year and a half ago I was fortunate enough to be able to replace all of my cookware with the 30 piece All-Clad Copper Core set and I absolutely love every piece. I find myself reaching for my 8 quart Dutch oven constantly. It’s also a fantastic jam cooking pot!

  • Since seeing your demo in Seattle, I have been using a skillet for all of my small batch jams and jellies. It is easier and I can see if I missed any skins or cherry pits. Now I only use the dutch oven for big jobs.

  • my favorite piece of cookware is my All-Clad 10″ skillet (with lid)…I was a diehard devotee of cast iron until I got the all-clad on wicked sale (still a big fan of the cast iron, tbh), but I really love the versatility and the fact it can go in the dishwasher! (Lazy, but oh well!)

  • My favorite piece of cookware is my Lodge Dutch oven that I use for camping. It is so much fun to cook outdoors.

  • I have teenagers, so my main dish has to be plentiful. I have a large 14″ skillet that is deep enough for double batches of whatever I make for dinner. It’s really starting to show some wear but I refuse to get rid of it until I find a suitable replacement!

  • We have bulk foods store in our little community, and they had a large deep pan that I wanted for making jams. Last year was a jam flop when I tried to make large batches. Now I know why you do not do that. My husband went and picked up that pan, and I love it. I use it for jam and sauteing my pickled peppers.

  • I have a random 3 qt pot with two handles that was a wedding gift. I have no idea if it’s actually high quality, but that pot is my go-to pot for everything that will fit in it. Straight sides, good lid. The only thing I don’t like to use it for is popcorn, on my gas range, I need a long handle to get a really good shake going.

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  • First, this recipe looks AMAZING…I am a plum lover and anything with cardamom is a bonus. My favorite piece of cookware is a toss up between my echo-friendly dutch oven and my wok. Both have gotten my husband and I through several moves, several tight-spaced kitchens and several wonderful meals. Cheers!

  • If I had to choose a favorite I think it would be my stock pot. I love making soups and stews even in the summer (works great for chicken and dumplings too!)

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  • Just got a new cast iron camp dutch oven from Lodge. Cant wait to try out some of the recipies! 🙂

  • love plums- but love blueberries more. would love summer jam in February. Plum ain’t too shabby either: though peach and lemon thyme sounds appealing to me right now….

  • My absolute favorite is a large iron skillet my mother in law bought me from a yard sale. It makes the best upside down pineapple cake ever!

  • My favorite is my medium nonstick skillet. It’s showing some wear though! Also, my favorite jam out of all the ones I have made is Plum Amaretto–the Plum Cardamom one looks delicious!

  • 8″ Cast Iron skillet, for sure. It was one of the first pieces of new cookware I bought for myself, back in 2004, and it’s come with me to every house I’ve lived in since.

  • This past year, it has been a shallow le creuset roasting pan. I throw cut veggies in there w/ any seasoning & it roasts them perfectly.

  • I was excited to see this website as I was looking for more recipes to use up gallons of plums and blackberries in my kitchen. New pans couldn’t hurt! My Ebbleskiver pan…cast iron WITH the lip is my all-time favorite.

  • Even though I can’t enter, I had to comment on that beautiful jam you made!! I’m going to try may hand at some with Cardamom in it too!!!

    My favorite piece of cookware is an old cast aluminum HealthTec dutch oven. I found it in my second husband’s garage when I moved in after our wedding. It was the first thing I packed into my car when I moved, many years later!!! I’ve baked a chicken, made jam, simmered soup & fried eggs in that thing. The lid fits so well that you can put soup on to simmer & turn the stove down so low it’s just barely on & go out into the garden for the day & it won’t go dry. I quickly browned a pork roast it once & forgot to turn it totally off before I went out. It simmered all day long with the stove just barely on like a slow cooker & presented me with a roast that fell apart when I got home. The only things I use in my kitchen now that I’m old & single are that pot, a non-stick skillet for stir fry, my Foreman Grill & the slow cooker.

  • My favorite piece of cookware is my calphalon saute pan. I got it in college and it’s still the best piece, I use it for everything. That plum recipe looks beautiful!

  • Favorite piece of cookware – has to be the amazingly versatile dutch oven. Don’t know what I ever did in the kitchen without one!

  • I may have to adjust my farmer’s market agenda to pick up some plums; I think that the color alone persuaded me!

    Anyhow, my favorite is a big Le Creuset pot that my husband and I use all the time to make stews, pasta sauce, jam, whatever…I hesitated about purchasing that thing for so long, but it was so worth it. I am hoping to make some plum butter in it this weekend!

  • My favourites are and always have been a collection of dutch ovens, small and large. I cook, roast, and bake in them. Thank you!

  • My fave is an old strainer I inherited from my grandmother. It’s falling apart and I’ve been looking for a suitable replacement for ages. So far, nothing is quite right.

  • My favorite piece of cookware is my 12 inch cast iron skillet. From stovetop to oven easily and the even heat is a joy.

    Your jam looks wonderful.

  • My current favorite piece of cookware is a 10″ cast iron skillet that was passed down to my hubby from his great grandmother. So many things have been cooked in it over the years. It is just so versatile.

  • My favorite is my soup pot. I use it for making soups, beer, and spaghetti sauce. It gets a work-out all year.

  • My stainless steel GreenPan stock pot. My mom and I use it every summer to make all different kinds of jam. We then share our jam with family and friends during the holiday season.

  • My current favorite pan is a very large (14″?) non stick skillet we picked up at a friend’s yard sale. We can cook 3 over easy eggs at once or pan fry a large quantity of anything. Our cast iron skillets are not as large and my 30 year old wok is not flat, though they have also been favorites in the past.

  • I just finished making this recipe. I tasted it in the pot and it tasted great. I have not tried the cooled jam yet, since it’s still smoking hot in the jars. I bought and weighed, both in the store and on my home scale, 5 lbs of Italian prune plums. I followed the recipe exactly, cutting into half moons, letting the fruit mascerate in the sugar for an hour, adding coriander and fresh squeezed lemon. However, this is where things went sideways. My jam pot was half full of liquid. I took over 3 hours to boil it down to a thick-ish consistency. I still think it was a bit on the thin side, but I was tired of standing and stirring. After the first couple of hours it started to burn to the bottom in spots, so I stirred pretty much constantly for the last hour. The plums literally disappeared. It looked almost like thick syrup. I’m sure it’s going to be tasty, but I was hoping to use it for filling in my family’s Berliner recipe. I’ll have to see how thick the jam is when it’s cooled. It made a total of 5 half pints.

    1. Did you have it running at a hard boil? I’m really surprised that it was like water after three hours of boiling. That much boiling should have reduced it to nothing.