Italian plum jam – a deliciously sweet, deep purple-colored jam made with fresh stone fruit
What do you do when someone gives you several pounds of Italian plums? Make jam, of course!
I received these beautiful organic plums from my great uncle recently. He grew them in his backyard.
Ingredients matter when you make plum jam. I used homegrown organic fresh fruit for this recipe, and you can really taste the difference. A touch of vanilla, compliments the mellow plum flavor, while the lemon juice helps to cut the sweetness a bit. Nectarines or strawberries would also pair well with plums.
Pectin vs. Pectin-Free
Certo pectin crystals, lemon juice, and sugar are used in this recipe to preserve the jam, and extend its shelf life. Keep in mind that pectin-free jam recipes are stored up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator, but this jam recipe can be stored for several months, and only has to be refrigerated after the jar is opened.
Jars and sterilization
Jar size also matters when you make jam. It’s best to use 4 pint-sized (2 cup) jars for this recipe.
I really love the elegant design of the Collection Elite Wide Mouth Bernardin Jar. It’s the perfect size for storing jam, and for gifting jam to others.
It’s also very important to properly sterilize your jars and lids to remove bacteria, and ensure your food will remain fresh in the vacuum-sealed jars.
What’s your favorite kind of jam? Share your thoughts with me in the Comments section below.
Here’s the recipe.
- 9 cups firm semi-ripe Italian plums, pitted and diced
- 6 cups granulated white sugar
- 1 package Certo pectin crystals (for homemade jams and jellies), about ¼ cup
- Fresh juice of 1 large lemon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
- 4 pint-sized glass mason jars (2 cups per jar)
- Mix diced plums, sugar, and Certo pectin crystals in a large bowl with your hands (or a rubber spatula) for 30 seconds. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight to release the juices from the plums (max 24 hours).
- Place 3 metal spoons in the freezer.
- Clean 4 glass mason jars and lids in warm, soapy water, and rinse well. Place lids in warm water until ready to be used. Keep the sterilized glass jars in a warm oven until it's time to fill the jars.
- Scrape the contents of the bowl into a large 12-inch non-stick sauce pot. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla extract.
- Bring to a rolling boil on high heat, and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the plums are softened, and the mixture is reduced by ⅓. As it simmers, stir occasionally, and spoon away the gunky foam which floats up and near the side of the pan (for a shinier and smoother jam).
- To test the consistency of the mixture, turn off the heat and drop a teaspoon of the simmering jam mixture onto a frozen metal spoon, and return the spoon to the freezer. Check the spoon after 5 minutes. If the jam doesn't slide off easily when the spoon is tilted, it's ready.
- Ladle the hot jam into 4 warm mason jars, and wipe the rims with a damp cloth. Cover the jars, and screw on the lids immediately.
- Process the closed jars of jam in a boiling hot water bath for 5 minutes according to the jar manufacturer's instructions. (See note 1)
- Cool the jars of jam (for 12 to 24 hours) on a tea towel before serving, or storing. You should hear the center of the lids pop when the seals are secured. Make sure the lids are tightly screwed on.
- Cooked jam can be stored in unopened jars up to 10 months on a shelf in a dry, cool, dark room. Cooked jam could be frozen up to 8 months. Opened jars should be refrigerated up to 3 weeks.
Recipe, photo, and post by Maria Perugini of MariaTiramisu.com.
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