Awhile back I picked up some red plums that were some of the best I’ve ever tasted. They were naturally sweet and flavorful, perfect for making jam. I’ve only made jam a few times but I’m learning more through each process. To preserve the jam I like to pack it in jars and seal using a hot water bath. It’s easy and has so far been very reliable. The one thing I’ve found is that the more naturally sweet your fruit is, the less sugar you need to add. Ball has a “Low or No Sugar” pectin that is an easy way to thicken your jam without all the sugar. Now that I’ve figured that out I plan to pick fruit when it is in season and at the height of sweetness. If you make a few jars here and there you will have a variety of jam to enjoy for several month’s or share with family and friends.
When the plums have broken down and become soft use a hand blender to blend the plums. However, if you don’t have a blender you can use a potato masher and then strain mixture to remove the outer peel. If you use a blender there’s no need to strain the fruit.
Remove jars and dry with a towel. Over the next few minutes the lids should make a popping sound letting you know they have sealed. Let cool completely before refrigerating. Properly sealed jars should have a shelf life up to 18 month’s in a cool dry place.
Red Plum Jam
2 pounds Red Plums, ripened
2/3 cups Water
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
2 1/2 tablespoons Low or No Sugar Pectin
1/2 – 2/3 cups Sugar, depending on sweetness of the plums
Wash plums and blot dry with a towel. Remove pits and slice thin.
In a 3 quart saucepan or larger, add the sliced plums, water and lemon juice. Heat the fruit over medium heat. Stir often as the plums begin to soften and break down. Use a hand blender to break apart and blend the plums together to a chunky consistency. If you don’t have a hand blender, use a potato masher and then strain to remove any large pieces of peel.
Combine the pectin and sugar together before adding to the plum mixture. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
Bring the mixture to a boil then stir the pot while it boils for 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
Heat a large stockpot or deep dutch oven with enough water to cover the jars. Bring to a boil. Fill sterilized mason type jars with the jam mixture and seal with canning lids. Use tongs or canning jar lifter to place jars in the hot water. Gently boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the water and dry jars with a kitchen towel. Within minutes the lids should begin to pop indicating that they have sealed. Any jars that did not properly seal should be refrigerated or placed in the freezer. When properly sealed, jars can be stored in a cool dry place for up to 18 month’s.
Fills 5 half pint sized jars