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Easy Plum Jam

Home-made jam is always better than store bought. Try this Easy Plum Jam and enjoy your produce throughout the coming year – if it lasts that long.
Course Condiment
Cuisine Australian
Keyword condiment, delicious, easy, edible gift, homemade jam, jam, plum, plum jam, simple
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 11 medium jars
Calories 611kcal
Author Alexandra

Ingredients

  • 2 kg plums
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1.5 kg granulated sugar *
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice *

Equipment:

  • 11 medium sized sterilised jars with metal lids see below for details

Instructions

To Sterilise the Jars:

  • Choose glass jars with an airtight, metal lid. Wash the jars and lids. If washing by hand use hot, soapy water and then rinse them well. Alternatively, wash them in the dishwasher.
    Preheat the oven to 130 Degrees C (270F).
    Check that the metal lids do not have rubber inserts. Place jars and lids on a baking tray. Heat in the oven for at least 20 minutes, then remove and immediately fill with jam.

To Make the Jam:

  • Place 2 small plates or saucers in the freezer to chill*.
  • Wash the plums and remove any blemishes. Halve the plums and remove the stones.
  • Cut the halves in half again. If you don’t want your jam to have chunks of fruit, cut the plums into eighths. Alternatively, use a stick blender to make it a little finer textured before you add the sugar.
  • Place the plums and water in a large, wide saucepan*.
  • Bring the plums to a simmer over low-medium heat. Stir occasionally using a long-handled wooden spoon*.
  • Cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the plums are soft, 15-20 minutes. At this stage, if you prefer less chunky jam, you could blend it using a hand-held stick blender. Take off the heat to do this.
  • Add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir frequently until the sugar dissolves.
  • Increase the heat and bring to a rolling boil for 5-15 minutes*. You need to be vigilant at this point. Stir frequently to avoid the jam catching and burning on the bottom of the pan.
  • Skim the foam from the jam as it rises.
  • After about 5 minutes rapid boiling, turn the heat off under the jam. Spoon a small amount of jam onto a chilled plate or saucer to check if it is starting to set.
    I use the wrinkle test. When the jam has cooled, push it gently with your fingertip. If it wrinkles, even slightly, it is ready. If it remains liquid, put the jam back on the heat for a further 5 minutes and check again. See the Notes if you would prefer to use a thermometer*.
  • When the jam reaches setting point, skim further if necessary and remove from the heat. Stand about 10 minutes to allow the jam to settle. This will ensure any pieces of fruit will be evenly distributed throughout the jam. Without standing, the pieces of fruit will rise to the top.
  • Stir the jam and carefully ladle it into the heated, sterilised jars. You need to be very careful. A splash or spill from hot jam would result in a serious burn. I recommend that you wear clothing with long sleeves. Additionally, this is not the occasion to have children nearby.
  • Seal the jars tightly with sterilised lids.
    Remove any spills from the sides of the jars. Label and store the jam in a cool, dark place.
    When using the jam, always use a clean, dry spoon to avoid contamination. After opening a jar, as a further precaution, store it in the refrigerator.

Notes

*The plums I used for this jam were quite sweet so I used a fruit/jam ratio of 1 kilo of fruit to ¾ kilo of sugar. If the fruit you use is slightly unripe and quite tart you may need to use a ratio of equal weight fruit and sugar.
*The Australian tablespoon is 20ml or 4 teaspoons. In many other countries the tablespoon is 15ml or 3 teaspoons. Please adjust the measurement if necessary.
*Fresh lemon juice not only balances the sweetness of the sugar, it also helps the pectin set the jam.
*The chilled plates are used to quickly cool the jam when testing setting point.
*Always choose your widest saucepan that has enough height to enable the jam to boil vigorously. More surface area means the liquid will evaporate faster; having sufficient height means you can boil the jam at a higher heat.
*Do not use a metal spoon, it will become very hot. A long-handled wooden spoon is important to avoid being burnt by a splash from boiling jam.
*My jam reached setting point about 5 minutes after it began to boil rapidly. Boiling time will vary depending on the size of your saucepan and the heat that you apply.
*You can also check for setting point by using the temperature method. To use this method, you will need a sugar thermometer. Clip the thermometer to the side of your pan. When the thermometer reads 104C/220F the jam is ready.
*The colour of the jam will vary depending on the variety of fruit that you use.
*You can make jam with just a small quantity of fruit. If you use a smaller quantity of fruit the jam will set in a shorter time. You’re not restricted to using plums; if you’re able to access other lovely stone fruits use those instead, they all make delicious jam.
*Do not reduce the amount of sugar. Whilst the sugar sweetens the fruit it also acts as a preservative and helps the jam to set. If you reduce the sugar, your jam may go mouldy.
* You can use recycled jars with metal lids that are in good condition. Choose glass jars with tight-fitting lids and ensure the lids do not have rubber inserts.
*If your finished jam has not set as much as you would like, don’t worry, it will still be delicious stirred into some plain yoghurt or served over our no-churn vanilla ice cream. Or if it is slightly over-set and is very firm, it will be a lovely accompaniment on a cheese board.
*It is best to ladle the jam into hot jars to avoid them cracking.
*Please note, the nutrition information is based on one whole jar.

Nutrition

Calories: 611kcal | Carbohydrates: 157g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 285mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 154g | Vitamin A: 625IU | Vitamin C: 18.1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 0.4mg