Plum Jam – Easy Recipe with No Pectin

This recipe for plum jam has no pectin and very little sugar. It’s also a small batch of jam, and requires no special equipment. It just uses one weird trick! Using only six or seven plums, a bit of powdered sugar, you can make this plum jam in no time. This is a looser-set jam recipe, and would be delicious on ricotta toast or swirled into yogurt.

plum jam no pectin

why this is the easiest plum jam recipe

This recipe requires just fresh, peak season plums, and about 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar and no pectin.

fresh, in-season plums

what is pectin?

Pectin is a naturally occurring substance (a polysaccharide) found in berries, apples and other fruit.  When heated together with sugar, it causes a thickening that is characteristic of jams and jellies. 

The amount of naturally occurring pectin depends on the ripeness of the fruit. Fruits that have just ripened have the highest pectin content and as the fruit continues to ripen, pectin decreases.

Like cranberries, loganberries, and quinces, regular plums (not Italian plums) are naturally high in pectin, so you don’t have to add any additional pectin to make a jam out of regular plums.

how do you make a small batch of plum jam?

  1. Cut your plums in half, then in quarters, then into eighths. Keep the skins on; just dispose of the pits. 
  2. In a medium-size pot, bring the plums and 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar up to a boil, let it boil for 2 minutes, and then turn off the heat and let it cool down to room temperature. 
  3. Check on the sweetness level by dipping a spoon into your jam and then taste-testing the jam. If your jams were less ripe to begin with, you may want to add another teaspoon of powdered sugar. If your plums were riper to begin with, then the jam might be sweet enough as is. I often add 1 teaspoon of sugar at this point.
  4. Bringing the plums to a boil a second time. If your plums have not broken down yet, using your spatula, just smush/divide the plums into smaller broken down pieces. Really keep on an eye on the jam, and stir it almost constantly. Do not set it and forget it. No Instagram surfing. Watch the pot.
  5. At this point, the plum jam should be nearly ready. If you used less ripe plums, which contain more pectin, it should be ready after just these 2 boils. Do a spoon test — dip a spoon into the jam, and drag your finger down the middle. If the jam stays separated, it’s ready!
  6. If it’s still too loose, bring it to a boil once more. Again, watch the pot!! Do not burn the jam!!
  7. Let the jam cool down completely and pour the jam into a 16 oz jar. Store in the fridge.
  8. If you know how to do a boiling-canning process, do that and the jam will last up to a year. If not, the jam will last about 2 weeks in the fridge. Serve on toast, with yogurt, on ice cream, in between cake layers, etc!!

pro tips for making this no-pectin plum jam

The hack to making plum jam with no pectin or very much added sugar is to cook plums in their own juices, and bring the plums to a boil and then back down to room temperature two or three times.

This recipe is for a looser-set plum jam. I personally don’t like my jam to be super firmly set — it veers too close into jello land for me.

This loose-set plum jam is great on toast or swirled into yogurt.

The one thing you should know is to use regular plums, not Italian plums, because Italian plums don’t have as much naturally-occurring pectin in them.

Plum Jam – Easy Recipe with No Pectin

Mimi Newman
This plum jam is made with whole plums, requires no pectin, and is low sugar. 
4 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Jams & preserves
Cuisine American, Seasonal
Servings 12 ounces
Calories 20 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound plums regular plums, not Italian plums
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar 1-2 teaspoons more as needed

Instructions
 

  • Cut your plums in half, then in quarters, then into eighths. Keep the skins on; just dispose of the pits.
  • In a medium-size pot, bring the plums and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar up to a boil, let it boil for 2-3 minutes, and then turn off the heat and let it cool down to room temperature, which should take about 15 minutes.
  • Check on the sweetness level by dipping a spoon into your jam and then taste-testing the jam. If your jams were less ripe to begin with, you may want to add another teaspoon of powdered sugar. If your plums were riper to begin with, then the jam might be sweet enough as is. I often add 1 teaspoon of sugar at this point.
  • Bringing the plums to a boil a second time. If your plums have not broken down yet, using your spatula, just smush/divide the plums into smaller broken down pieces. Really keep on an eye on the jam, and stir it almost constantly. Do not set it and forget it. No Instagram surfing. Watch the pot. Boil for 2-3 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it cool down for another 15 minutes.
  • At this point, the plum jam should be nearly ready. If you used less-ripe plums, which contain more pectin, it should be ready after just these 2 boils. Do a spoon test — dip a spoon into the jam, and drag your finger down the middle. If the jam stays separated, it's ready!
  • If it’s still too loose, bring it to a boil once more. Again, watch the pot!! Do not burn the jam!!
  • Let the jam cool down completely and pour the jam into a 16 oz jar, and store in the fridge.
  • If you know how to do a boiling-canning process, do that and the jam will last up to a year. If not, the jam will last about 2 weeks in the fridge. Serve on toast, with yogurt, on ice cream, in between cake layers, etc!!

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1ozCalories: 20kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1mgPotassium: 59mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 130IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 1mg
Keyword easy plum jam recipe, jams, low sugar plum jam, no pectin plum jam
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