Plum Jam with pectin and Canning 101
I have been making Jams for a while now. Recently gal pal of mine dropped in during tea time and we thought we will enjoy some home made Rye bread with some jam along with tea. The minute she had the jam, she fell in love with it and insisted on asking me from which I store I bought the Jam and the make. I had to do some real convincing since she wouldn't believe that it was a home made Plum Jam. Her doubt was how I managed to get the store like consistency - you know jelly like. It was pectin mantra and not bad as it is made out to be. In fact Pectin is actually a good substances. It is actually a soluble fiber and is known to be created naturally in certain fruits like apples,apricots,cherries, berries etc. In fact when making Berry Jams, adding pectin is not necessary since they have abundant pectin of their own - which is why I havent used any kind of pectin for any of my previously posted Jams. But the last time I made Plum Jam, I had a packet of pectin lying in my pantry, I wanted to use it up, hence added it while making the Jam this time.
Plum Jam with pectin and Canning 101
My friend also informed me that making Jams at home were cumbersome since hers lasted only a week or so after which fungus started appearing even after refrigerating them. I asked her if she sterilized the jars which she uses for Jams and she said "yes, I wash them well with soap, dry and use.That should do ir right?" Well, that mostly is not enough for preserving the Jams. My jams lasts me for a month easily. I dunno after that since usually my jams get over by that time. I have shown here what I do for canning my jams.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Yields: Around 3 pint sized jars
  • About 5 cups of plums, chopped and pitted
  • 2 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 packet powdered fruit pectin
  • 1 cup honey ( depends on the sweetness of the plums. Increase/decrease as per taste. I have used honey for enhancing the nutrition. You can use sugar instead)
  • 1/2 cup water

Mix the plums, pectin and lemon juice in a heavy bottomed pan and cook in medium heat.

2. The plums will start liquifying slowly.
3. While slightly mushy, add 1/2 cup water, stir well and cook until it comes to a boil.
4. Remove the foam that forms on the top. Another tip to make the foam go away easily would be to add a little butter.
5. Add the honey or sugar, mix and cook for another 10-15 minutes until it all starts coming together as one thick syrup consistancy.
6. Alternatively with soapy water, clean the Jam can well, along with the lid. Lightly dry it and then drop them in a big pot of water. Bring them to a boil. Make sure your jars are submerged well. This picture was taken towards the end when I was removing my jars
7. Lift them carefully (don't burn your hands) and lightly dry them with paper towels. They should feel hot since it will make sure that the bottle does not break when your pour the jam inside. Slowly pour the jam into the Jar upto about 1/2-1/8 inch on top. Leftovers in the pan are a dream! why? Your fingers will tell you ;-)
8. Close the lid tightly and invert the bottle to help the Jam set well for about 5 minutes.
9. Now slowly place it, straightup, inside the hot boiling water and leave it for another 5-8 minutes. This is done/neccessary cos if skipped the Jam will spoil. If you live in higher altitudes, then leave them for about 10min. Too much boiling can make the Jam runny too.
10. Remove them, let it cool. Refrigerate them. Enjoy them with your toasts or any other recipe you like :) All this may sound like a long process, but believe me, once done the satisfaction that it gives every time you scoop a spoonful is unparalelled!

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2 Member Reviews

By MAAHI on Jul 11, 2011

i made this always wid d same method.its taste n flavour is awe sum thanx 4 sharing ............


By Lakshmi on Jan 16, 2019

Can we use prunes instead of plums? Will this process work?

I havent personally tried it with any dried fruit. But I have read that usually dried fruits are softened (hydrated) first with boiling water and once soft blended (completely or chunky). I think the rest of the process is similar with adjustments to sugar made if needed (in case the dried fruit is already sweetened). --DK

By Quota Raven on Aug 1, 2017

Loved your recipe for plum jam with pectin. I've been making damson jam or plum jam for a while, and I have this suggestion for you,. As my trees bear so many plums, I do jam making in stages, cooking about 4 to 6 pints of finished jam at a time. But here's the hint: after taking the pits out and cutting up the fruit (I do about 4 pieces per plum), I mix the cut plums (about 8 to 10 cups of plum bits) with juice of one large lemon and right amount of sugar - I use 6 cups of sugar to 8 cups of cut up plums - and one packet of powdered pectin. Then I mash this all up together and put it in the fridge overnight - or longer! -, stirring it up a few times to help the sugar dissolve. So the next day, the sugar is all dissolved and I bring the mixture to the rolling boil, then lower heat to a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, maybe 20 at most, and test with a cold plate to see if it is setting. My slightly under-ripe plums have a goodly amount of pectin, so they are usually ready to jar after 15 minutes. The advantage of letting the sugar dissolve in the plums in the fridge before cooking is that it cuts the cooking time and you don't risk burning the sugar when you bring the mix to a boil. I do process the full jars finally in boiling water for 5 minutes. And to sterilize them before using, I wash with hot soapy water, then rinse, then put on a cookie sheet in the oven at 275F while I cook the jam, so they are hot and sterile when the jam is done. I have noticed that there are many variations in the recipes for plum jam - from the ratio of fruit to sugar, to whether or not to use pectin, when to seed the plums...every year I find myself with questions - this year, I wondered when to add the pectin, and that brought me to your delightful site. Cheers! SusanP

This is worth gold. Thank you. Can't wait to try this out Susan :) --DK

By Glory B on Apr 27, 2017

What weight is the sachet as my pectin is in a tub?

By Francisca on Jul 24, 2016

Hello, I am always very surprised when people seem not to have discovered Jelly Sugar yet! In countries like France and Germany most jams are made with half of the quantity of sugar to the quantity of fruit 2:1, only boiled for up to 4 minutes and last for ages, even after opening, if kept in the fridge! I sometimes used to forget an open jar of jam in the fridge for many weeks and none ever went bad. I see that you boil your jams for a lot longer but the worst thing is here in the UK that people use the same quantity of sugar to the fruit or even more sugar than fruit. In the modern world where we can easily find all kinds of information I really wonder why people are still eating such jam which more than anything almost only contains sugar and won't have any flavour left after boiling the fruit sometimes for 30 minutes or even longer! I was just wondering whether you had this information..... Regards, Francisca

By Janet Gutowski on Aug 17, 2015

How long will the plum jam last if not refrigerated?

By Maria on Jul 30, 2015

To those wondering how much pectin to use and how to fix a runny jam: depending on the brand you are using, it should be between 25-50g pectin per 500g sugar, please refer to the box instructions when you buy your pectin. You can also make jam/jelly without pectin, just add the juice and zest of a lemon while cooking the fruit. The natural acid and pectin in lemon will help the jam gel. This method uses approx. 750g sugar per 1000g of fruit & juice combined. On how to fix a runny jam. Wait 24 hours after cooking your jam to see if they will gel. If not, then yes, you can reprocess them. Dump everything in a large pot and add about 15-30g pectin depending on what kind you are using (some products will make your jam gel harder or runnier), bring to a rapid boil and boil for 5 minutes and then check to see if it has started to gel (you can do the plate in freezer method to check the consistency). Ladle into sterilized jars, seal and process in a canner.

By Vee Smith on Jul 6, 2015

For years my mother and older sister made fig preserves by washing, stemming them, and adding 1 cup sugar to every 2 cup figs, let them set overnight. By morning there was enough natural juice from figs to add lemon slicews, and start boiling till done. Have you or anyone heard of doing them this way? I am a beginner and want the figs to taste like Mom and Sis's did. They are both gone now and I am afraid of failing.

By kathy kelley on Mar 28, 2015

I just got finished making Blueberry Jam ( I grow all my own fruit, then freeze it) It comes out so good! I do a water bath. I also add pectin. Because, between the price of sugar/honey, Ball Jars, all the time and energy that goes into making it, I want it to come out right. Thankyou for letting me share.

By Raj Bhalla on Feb 26, 2015

Hi, I have never been to keen to make anything sweet but this looks so easy and yummy. Thanks a lot. Raj

By Jeanne Fries on Oct 25, 2014

I use honey in 1 batch of grape jam every year. With 4 cups of juice pulp strained, add 1/2 c raw unfiltered honey and 1 tsp lemon juice. Simmer stirring frequently, then add agar powder 1 1/2 tsp not flakes, then when down to about 2 cups place in jars. I do the freezer plate test, but it thickens rather quickly. Refrigerate or seal in hot bath about 15 minutes. Bring to boil, shut off and add jars and let sit, remove and cool. Very good too! A slightly dupifferent flavor due to honey!

By Lynne Marie on Sep 25, 2014

My first try I decided to put the pulp and the pectin mixtures in a blender to eliminate the thick skin pieces that remained after boiling. It worked fine. Also, my first batch was a little runny so that will be used as Concord grape syrup to pour over our homemade griddle cakes.

By Joyce Rozendaal on Aug 11, 2014

I have an abundance of large green figs to make jam with. I also want to make jam without pectin. In your recipe I read that is what you did but I do not want to refrigerate the jam until after opening. Would the jam be safe to eat when not kept in the refrigerator Someone told me that you can process jam in the oven without using a water bath. You still have to sterilize the jars and lids and fill the hot contents in the clean jars, etc, like your method, but not use the hot water method. Have you heard of doing it that way and if so, for how long have the jars be in the oven and at what temperature. Would I have to use pectin when using the dry oven processing method. By not using pectin what is the storage time for keeping the jam on the shelf . I have never made jam before and this will be my first try to make it . There are so many figs on my tree ripening at the same time that it is impossible to eat them all. I have been sharing the fig crop with friends and neighbors but it would be nice to find out if I can make a nice fig jam to give to them. Thank you.

By Plum dessert recipes | Sweet City Desserts on Mar 23, 2014

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By Gregg on Oct 3, 2013

The house my wife and I bought last year came with a very large and old Concord grape vine. We were able to pick about 20lbs of fruit a few days ago and decided to give making a jam a go. I must say, the recipe was easier than expected - but very messy! :) We did 6lbs of grapes (6 cups of sugar) to start. It took a bit longer for the final cook down than expected but the results were spectacular. The jam is sweet but has a great hint of tart as well. Thanks for the recipe! We now have enough jam to last us quite some time!

By Improvised Juice Pulp Strawberry Beet Jelly/Preserves | Fat Food Addiction on Sep 13, 2013

[...] are the proper steps to making and canning your own [...]

By Anne Anderson on Sep 12, 2013

How much pectin is in a package? We have a jar Thanks

By nina on Sep 7, 2013

can i boil the jars with the jam in them without the jar you have to boil the jars with the jam in them???? :-|

By Karen in Alabama on Aug 7, 2013

I have been making jams and jellies for over 50 years. I always use glass jars with metal lids and ands(eg. Ball Jar lids and bands) but also reuse commercial jelly jars. I boil the jars and lids for several minutes. I fill a jar (leaving .5 max inch head space), screw a cap or lid and band on tightly then stand the jar on its head! After at least 5 minutes, the jars get turned over and all of them pop their lids down in less than an hour. They are stored in cupboards until opened, then refrigerated. It isn't difficult- just get used to a lot of boiling water so get the right tool- there is a little commercial kit from one of the brands involved in Jellying that has the magnetic wand to get lids out of the boiling water, a wide mouth funnel for filling, and several other tools- very handy!

By Jerri on Jul 8, 2013

To those of you who asked. Depending on the recipe you can use 3-6 TBL of powder classic pectin. BALL brand is good. Most water baths once you jar the jam is 10-15 minutes long. You DON'T have to refrigerate the jars once they 'pop' shut (seal) Only when you open them and then for about a month or so. MY question is if your jam does not GEL, can you take the jam out of the jars, reheat, add more pectin and re-seal again? I used liquid pectin for one recipe and Low sugar for the other.

By Plum Jam | Dreamy Blog on May 5, 2013

[...] I’m sure this would give delight to your casual meals!For the recipe and full instructions go here var loveClawOptions3831 = new LoveClawOptions();loveClawOptions3831.WrapperId = [...]

By Linda Erasmus [Pretoria- South Africa} on Apr 25, 2013

I have just cooked Myrtle berry jam, but it is very watery. I used the juice extracted from the berries. I used 5 cups of juice, 5 cups of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of apple pectin powder. What can I do to thicken it??

By Ryan on Jan 26, 2013

Hi, I would just like to ask if I could just use any glass jar I have available for the canning process or does it have to be a special kind of canning jar? I have some glass jars that used to contain pasta sauce and I was wondering if they could work.

By afton on Sep 3, 2012

Does the Grape Jam have to be keep in the fridge after the process is finished? Can it be kept with other canned items? No room in the fridge for a lot of jars. Please answer this question. Thank you!

Pls refer - --DK

By shina on Aug 1, 2012

i did not make it but i have diabetic can i make it with something else except sugar. or not to use sugar at all?? :?: :?:

By fari falaki on Jul 28, 2012

:roll: I made the jame and the jars are boiling in the hot water, I live in Norther Ca. I do not know how long needs in the boiling water?

By Tuesday Tip Day: When Life Gives You Plums… | on Jul 4, 2012

[...] follow the instructions on whatever container of pectin you get.  Between the pectin wrapper and this lady, I managed to semi-successfully make jam (we’ll discuss the semi part in a moment, [...]

By Christie on Jun 26, 2012

My jam is cooling on the counter right now... I'm so excited to try it with toast!!!

By Checat on Jun 14, 2012

Do they have to be refrigerated when they're done?

By Philip on May 31, 2012

I take it. I won't need the cheesecloth jelly bag Most of my other recipes say waterbath for three hours????

By Honey Plum Preserve (Homemade Jam) | Fun and Food Cafe on Nov 19, 2011

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By Priyanka on Nov 15, 2011

Ideally within how many days shall we consume the jam?

Check out this link for detailed info :)

By Margie on Sep 21, 2011

Do I need to peel plum's?

Nope :)

By Ron on Sep 17, 2011

I really want to try this recipe but I am thrown off by the "refrigerate". Since is appears to be going through a boil bath, can it not be stored with the rest of the canned goods(pickles, tomatoes, apple sauce, etc). I like the low sugar content but do not want to store it in the refrigerator. Thanks for your help.

By micky on Aug 21, 2011

Did you use the .4 oz Ball pectin packet? How do you think using a low sugar pectin would work?

By Lajwanti Pol on Jul 11, 2011

After Jam is ready and cans were boiled. should we pour jam in cold or hot? Means the Jam would be hot or cold when it get poured in the can?

By Nimi on Jul 10, 2011

I make jams n preserves all the time with no pectin added at all. If the jam turns out to be runny u have to mix it with a fruit that has pectin but not much flavour of its own. Guava and papaya are examples of fruit with high pectin!

Yes, if you had read my post you would know that I dont add pectin as much at all like you (mostly cos I make berry based jams that are naturally pectin rich)...For this once, I fancied it with pectin. I like the jelly consistency that it provides to these plums :)

By Ranjana on Jul 2, 2011

HI DK! I got the plums but could not find pectin. Shall I continue with the recipe the same way without it? Thanks!

By Odile on Sep 27, 2010

Honey has no more nutritional value than white sugar. Your statement is misleading.

Though it is not winning any race by leaps and bounds, it does have marginal edge in the nutrition department when compared to plain white refined sugar.

By Sana on Oct 23, 2009

Awesome... My mouth waters :-P

By Sue Wright on Sep 23, 2009

I was certainly surprised by the outcome! It only yielded 3 pint-sized jars. I am going to try again tonight, but using sugar this time, so I will let you know what I get. :)

LOL :) Well haven't been making Jams THAT many times to even roughly estimate how much so and so amount of fruit will yield - next time I make some, I will surely be careful about noting down how much I actually get! Thank you for this :)

By Sue Wright on Sep 19, 2009

Only one pint jar? From 5 cups of fruit and one envelope of pectin? That much fruit and pectin usually gets me at least 4, sometimes 5, pints of jam..... I'm going to make some tonight, so I will let you know how much I get when I'm done. :)

Oh that would be great - as I said, its been so long back, I dont even remember. So when you update it would be good to have a written record which I will mention in the blog too :) Thanks for this

By lili on Sep 16, 2009

How much or how many cans with this receipe make??

its been a while now - mm..lemme think- I think I got almost 1 pint jar worth of jam

By Sue Wright on Sep 16, 2009

I make jam every year, usually putting up a couple dozen pint-sized jars of stawberry, blackberry, boysenberry, marionberry, and whatever fruit is left over to mix all together for a 'mixed berry' jam. I like the idea of using honey instead of sugar, which I will try this afternoon when I make another batch of huckleberry jam. My jams have all lasted well over 10 months in the cupboard with no problems as far as bacteria or compromised taste are concerned. However, I DO NOT boiling the full jars of jam. I keep the empty jars in hot water in the sink until ready to use. I take them out, shake off the excess water, and fill them with hot jam. I wipe the rims (to ensure a good seal), put the lids on and screw the bands hand tight. Then I invert them on the kitchen counter for about 5 minutes. When I turn them back over, I give them each one little hard shake down to settle the jam into the jar, and I'm done. Usually, if the lids haven't "popped" down when I turn them back over, they will pop within a few minutes of being put right-side-up. Heck of a lot easier than boiling them, and as I said, in over 10 years of making jam, never a problem.

That's real surprising indeed! My Jams have never lasted without this following this whole hoopla of canning! What you say is indeed a LOT easier! I will try once again - may be its the weather or something that plays a huge role

By larry tredrea on Sep 14, 2009

Re. canning in boiling water. It doesn't look like the jars are submerged (as I usually do w/ a boiling water bath). Am I correct?

It has to be submerged - that picture is incomplete in the sense that I removed 1 jar out of it with water in it - hence it looks like it is half submerged. But the water has to come at least 1 inch above the cans. :)

By Hadassa on Sep 12, 2009

Thank you, Dhivya, I'll try it. All the best, Hadassa

By Hadassa Cooper on Sep 7, 2009

Here in Israel I have only found powdered pectin in a plastic container and there is no indication how much should be used in proportion to the fruit. I would appreciate if you could give me an indication because all my jams have come out too runny until now. Thank you.

Hi Hadassa - I think i used a 1.75 ounce packet which would amount to a little more than 3 tbsp. See if this info helps...

By Michelle on Aug 31, 2009

I have looked EVERYWHERE for ideas on how to can anything without adding more white sugar than fruit. This is the only place I've found. Thanks so much. If you have more, keep me informed.

By Diana on Aug 13, 2009

This looks great! About how much jam does this recipe make? Also, what size jars would you recommend using? I bought some pint jars, but I might go back for some half pints or maybe even smaller. Thanks!

I think I got about one pint worth of jam. I usually go for half pint jam jars which I find v convenient to use and store. But at the end it all comes down to how often/and how much you consume. For two of us, one 3/4th pint jam jar comes for almost a month - so I go for these ...:) - DK

By Rick on Aug 4, 2009

Wow, mine ended-up with a fruity, sweet and sour zing. Nothing like store bought. I used about 7 cups of plums and tried to let it cook down a little more. It reminds me of an Apricot filling for doughnuts (if there is such a thing?)

By Madhuram on Feb 25, 2009

That's a very descriptive and informative post DK. Love the color of the jam and the last picture is too good.

By Srivalli on Feb 25, 2009

Dhivi..thats one lovely post..will save this for the time when I will want to make these jams for my babies...thanks da

By Usha on Feb 25, 2009

I used to make jams regularly but in small quantities and using sugar, loved you idea of using honey. Thanks for the canning tips too !

By DK on Feb 24, 2009

Thank you girls. I am glad to note you like it :)@sala : I use glass jars which I got from Dollar store for a dollar(duh!) as seen in the photo.oh yes you can reuse the old jars. I bought mine god knows when and I have been using it again and again and again...make sure to do the specified canning process and u r good to go one any jars..I haven't tried with plastic am not sure how it works..Have always used glass jars.Yeah..we dont add preservatives as such right, so its better if you refrigerate them. I just read somewhere that preparing Jams this way can increase the shelf to to 12 months!!!!!! although its safe to consume it within 6 months :) -- DK

By veggie belly on Feb 24, 2009

I cant thank you enough for this post! I make home made jams and marmalade all the time but have been rather intimidated by the prospect of canning. You make it sound easy! Just have a few questions:
- What type of jars do you use?
- Can you re-use old jars or do they have to be new canning specific jars.
- Do you have to refridgerate unopened jars of jam?

By Sara on Feb 24, 2009

I love homemade jam, this looks and sounds fabulous. I can't wait for all my favorite fruits to be in season, so I can can away!

By Divya Vikram on Feb 24, 2009

That was a great useful post Dhiv. I will have to bookmark this recipe and wait until the fruits are in peak season.

By Madhumathi on Feb 24, 2009

The plum jam looks lip-smacking delicious.Nice tutorial on jam making with great pictures!

By Ashwini on Feb 24, 2009

wow thanks for the step by step canning process..Jam looks delish..Cant wait to try..

By Akal's Saappadu on Feb 24, 2009

looks so yummy and lovely pictures!
waiting for spring to buy some plums, hmmm, that is a beautiful color!!

By Akal's Saappadu on Feb 24, 2009

looks so yummy and lovely pictures!
waiting for spring to buy some plums, hmmm, that is a beautiful color!!

By Priya on Feb 24, 2009

Thanks for sharing the canning info, really very helpful to novices like me..

By jayasree on Feb 23, 2009

I too make jams at home but in small quantities that it gets over in a week. Thanks for the canning info. Also liked the idea of using honey.

By Dan on Feb 23, 2009

I've thought about making jam before, but not seriously. This post has inspired me to make some this year.

By Sunshinemom on Feb 23, 2009

Thank you! That is a great tutorial on canning and jamming!

By Pavani on Feb 23, 2009

hanks for the detailed info on canning. My mom used to make jams every year, but I've never done it myself. Plum jam looks delish!!

By Uma on Feb 23, 2009

Wow, perfect jam making process. Kudos Dhivya! You're true, the satisfaction we get by making our own jam, is unparalelled.:)