This recipe for small batch prune jam requires two ingredients – fresh plums and sugar. Includes a comprehensive guide on canning it for long-term snacking!
This easy plum jam recipe will have you wondering why you waited so long to make jam in the comfort of your own kitchen. The biggest ingredient? Patience! You’ll need to boil and reboil the jam 5-7 times in order for it to thicken naturally, but it’s well worth the wait (and taste!). What’s better? You don’t need any pectin or gelatin – just the natural sweetness from the prunes and some basic, white sugar.
How to Can Prune Jam at Home
Before we start making this rich prune jam recipe, let’s talk about canning. To preserve your jam for up to a year, here’s what to do:
- Wash the Jars: Preheat the oven to 215°. While it’s heating up, wash the jars and lids in hot, soapy water. Rinse them completely to remove any suds.
- Sterilize the Jars: Next, place all the jars and lids in the oven until they are completely dry (this is very important!).
- Fill the Hot Jars: Using an oven mitt, remove the hot jars from the oven and immediately spoon the hot jam inside them. Using a kitchen towel, cover each jar tightly with a lid and flip it upside down for an hour to seal it.
- Store the Jam: Finally, place the jars in a cool, dark place (the bottom shelf of your pantry or inside a cupboard) for up to a year.
Our Favorite Canning Jars for Jam! These half pint jars are the best for jam. They also make for great gifts!
How to Make Prune Jam from Scratch
To make prune jam from scratch, all you need is a bit of time and a large pot. Find the instructions below:
- Prepare the Plums: First, rinse the plums under cool water. Remove the pits and slice them into quarters.
- Marinate the Plums: Pop the plum pieces into a large pot and cover them with sugar. Place the pot in the fridge overnight.
- Boil & Cool the Plums: After a night of marinating, place the pot on the stovetop and turn the heat on low. Bring the plum mixture to a boil, remove it from heat, and allow the plums to cool. Repeat 5-7 more times.
- Jar the Jam: After the last boil, can the hot jam (long-term storage) or allow the jam to cool and store it in an airtight container in the fridge (short-term storage).
Expert Tips for Making Prune Jam
Never made homemade jam before? These tried-and-true tips will help you nail it!
- Cook the jam low and slow. To prevent the jam from burning during the boiling rounds, cook it low and slow. Also, make sure to stir it constantly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Use a timer to help you with the boiling rounds. To help you manage the boiling rounds, set a kitchen timer to remind you to check on it between each.
- Tweak the flavors with different seasonings. If you’d like, add in a bit of lemon juice to the jam to make it a marmalade. Or, add cinnamon sticks or cloves during the boiling process and remove them once the jam is finished cooking.
Prefer smoother jam? Use an immersion blender to beat the jam until it’s smooth in texture. Do this while the jam is still piping hot for best results!
Different Ways to Use Your Prune Jam
Now that you have all this jam, what to do with it? Here’s some ideas to inspire you.
- Ice Cream: Warm the jam in the microwave or in a saucepan until it liquefies. Drizzle it over vanilla ice cream.
- Sandwiches, Breads, & Toast: Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with it, or smear it on a slice of brioche or honey wheat bread with butter.
- Charcuterie Boards: Serve it alongside crackers, cheese, cured meats, fruits, and veggies on a charcuterie board.
- Cakes: Layer it in a cake. We like to use it in our Kiev cake recipe or in our Honey walnut poppy seed cake. You could also swap out the prune plums in our prunes walnut cake for the jam instead.
- Cookies: Use the prune jam for kolaczki (Polish cookies) and thumbprint cookies.
Do you need to peel plums for jam?
No, you do not need to peel the plums before making jam. The skin will naturally dissolve during the boiling process. You’ll also get a bit of extra fiber to boot!
What’s the difference between a prune and a plum?
Prunes are just dried plums! It’s the exact same fruit.
What’s the quickest way to remove the pit from plums?
To quickly remove the pit, slice along the diameter of the seed with a knife until you cut completely around the seed. Next, rotate the plum and slice the plum alongside the pit and remove the seed easily.
Can you freeze prune jam instead of canning it?
Yes, if you don’t want to can the jam you can freeze it in an airtight container instead. To thaw freezer jam, place it in the fridge overnight.
How long do you have to wait to eat the jam?
You do not have to wait to eat the jam! You can use it immediately after the last boil.
More Tasty Jams & Spreads to Try
- Apricot Jam Recipe (Only 2 Ingredients) – Simple apricot jam
- Easy Raspberry Jam + Video (3 Ingredients Only) – Raspberry jam with chia seeds
- Poppy Seed Filling – Sweet poppy seed filling
- Easy Instant Pot Dulce de Leche – Homemade dulce de leche
- 4 qts Plums
- 1 qt Sugar
- Rinse the plums, remove the seeds, and slice them into quarters.
- Place the plums into a pot and cover them with sugar. Allow them to sit in the refrigerator overnight to develop a nice juice.
- The next day heat the plum mixture over low heat on the stovetop, stirring it constantly to prevent the fruit from burning. Once it begins to boil, immediately remove it from heat. Repeat this process 5-7 more times, letting the plums completely cool between each round (this process will help to thicken the jam).
- Once you bring the plums to their last boil, transfer the jam into jars or can them for longer use.
Is it only good for one year? Not 2 or 3? Or is it that you don’t want to recommend it for longer in print? I’m looking forward to trying it this week.
Hey there Syl! I think the freshness is good up to a year. I hope it works out well for you! Let me know how the process was for you! Enjoy!
Approx how many plums are 2 quarts?
It took about 30 of my prune plums to make 1 quart.
Thanks for that tip, Alison!
Hey Debbie, it would depend on their size. I really wouldn't remember. The way we measured it is by the size of a pot.
Could you use prune juice?
Hey Kathy, do you mean in place of fresh plums?
2 questions - is water bath processing needed? Do you also put rings on lids before turning upside down? Thanks.
Hey, Yes it is if you want to preserve it for a long time, you need to sterilize the jars. And Yes, the jars should be fully sealed and closed.
Do you put all the sugar with the plums in the pot, to begin the boiling the process? Seems like a lot of sugar. Thank you!
Hey Joanne, yes, all the sugar going into the jam. Yes, a lot of sugar but this is the way my family made it and its incredible! 🙂
With there being so few canning lids on the market right now due to the coronavirus, is this a jam that can be put into freezer containers and put in the freezer after cooking instead of put in jars? Would it fair well frozen? Thanks in advance!
Hey Sharon, I think regular grocery stores should have lids but it will hold up well in a freezer. Enjoy it!
I want to try this jelly but I don't see the instructions anywhere just the ingredients. Not sure if I'm supposed to click on a link somewhere? I cant seem to find it.
If you scroll down you can see step by step photos and instructions.
Im just seeing ads when I scroll down but i can try from phone.
Please email me with an image you are seen. See contact on the website.
One of my fondest memories of my Polish Grandma is of her plum jam. I almost never see prune plums here in Indianapolis. I will search more so I can make this jam!
You can use other plums if you do find prune type. I have tried this recipe with other plums and apricots and the results are great! 🙂
Do you remove the skins once you boiled? Or do the skins remain?
No I don't remove skins. They kinda dissolve as the cook.
Looks delish! Thanks for the recipe, I featured it on my blog: http://www.colorfulcanary.com…
Oh sweet! Thank you so much for feature!
Why do not video? 🙁
I really want to but at this time we are doing step by step photo recipes. Hoping to move into videos one day.
How long do you have to wait before you can eat the jelly
You can eat it right away, as soon as it cools off. Enjoy