We had an abundance of plums this year! This was a year we had sufficient rain and that made a big difference–a number of years due to the CA drought we had barely any crop. Now the tree was laden with Santa Rosa plums; the boughs touched the ground as they were so heavy with fruit. Sounds wonderful and it was, but we had so many that even after giving away boxes of them to our neighbors, we had a lot left. So of course I made plum jam! It’s a big favorite with my family (I’ve made it many times over the years), but this year there’s the challenge of not using sugar. Turned out, Xylitol works great. This jam is as delicious as the sugary kind (we don’t like it too sweet anyway), with full tasting, gorgeous, purple, plummy goodness. Great for gifts if you can part with it!
Plum jam, (or any jam), is actually not too difficult to make, once you have all the other ingredients, big pots, jars, lids/caps, and of course, plums! And it does help to do it first time with someone who’s made jam before; mainly to give you confidence. (<*
I use a few shortcuts in that I sterilize the jars in the dishwasher on the hottest setting and also boil the lids/caps instead of using a water bath for the filled jars. I use the canning method I describe below, and it comes out great. I also read that you can sterilize jars in the oven, on low heat, 200degrees, for 15 minutes. I tried it also and seems fine, though I prefer the dishwasher using the highest heat settings.
* Also, the traditional SureJell method link is below.
(Leave a comment if you’d like to buy a jar; I’m working on getting a license to sell them through my blog.)
Fresh Plum Jam
INGREDIENTS (makes 10-12 jars, depending on what size you use; I use 8 oz. jars mainly and a few 12 oz.)
- 6 cups prepared fruit: 4 lbs. fresh plums; ripe ones are fine. (I make it with Santa Rosa; you could use Pluots, or other juicy plums.)
- 1 box low sugar pectin
- 1/2 cup water
- 31/2 cups Xylitol
- 2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1-2 Tbsp. unsalted butter–to retard foaming and boil over
- 2 tsp. Cinnamon if desired
Pit plums. Do not peel. Finely chop or grind fruit or use an immersion blender in deep saucepan or dutch oven. Add water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 min.
Measure exactly 6 cups prepared fruit into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot. (You can use the same pot to first boil or transfer–up to you.)
- Boil lids and rings (2-piece lids). Keep in boiling water until jam is ready.
Stir low sugar pectin into fruit in saucepot. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on medium high heat, stirring constantly.
Stir in Xylitol, lemon juice, (and cinnamon, if desired). Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
Lift out lids and rings from boiling water; (I actually do this one 2-piece lid at a time. I lift out the 2-piece lid with tongs for each jar, then fill that jar and so on.)
Ladle jam immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rim and threads. Cover with two-piece lid. Screw bands tightly. Turn the hot filled jars upside down on a towel to cool (this heat seems to help to make sure the jam lids are tight.)
After jars cool, turn right side up and check seals by pressing middle of lids with finger. (If lids don’t click down, but spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)
* The SureJell website has instructions for the traditional water bath method: