Plum Jam-ly


Plums seem to grow everywhere in France.  Purple plums, black plums, red plums, blue plums, even green plums… scrappy little plum trees full of these tiny, tasty little fruits seem to spring up in the most unlikely of places.  I even found one determined little plum tree growing right through a rather ugly old chain link fence!

While plums are delicious, they don’t last long as whole fruit.  Unlike apples, plums lose their luster and become quite soft quickly.  That’s why, as soon as I procured a big bag of little plums, I turned them into Plum Jam-ly right away!


“Jam-ly,” you ask?  That’s easy.  Jam-ly is a cross between jam (made from whole, crushed fruit) and jelly (made from fruit juice).  The bag of plums I worked with happened to be clingstone plums – the kind where the pit, or stone, sticks to the plum flesh instead of popping away cleanly.  I simply cut the plum halves away from the stone with a paring knife as I would for making jam, and saved all of the stones (with little bits of plum flesh stuck to them) to boil in a pot of water as I would for making jelly.  Voila… Jam-ly!  This easy recipe lets you squeeze every drop of flavor from your seasonal plums.  Enjoy!

WIN_20140925_124819Ingredients (makes 4, half-pint jars)

1 quart of fresh plums, washed

1 1/2 cups water (approximate)

2 cups sugar

2 tablespoons powdered pectin

WIN_20140925_1524021 star anise (or 1 cinnamon stick)


Step 1) Cut fruit away from stones, and chop fruit into small, bite size pieces.  Set aside.

Step 2) Place stones in a large pot and WIN_20140925_152846cover – just barely – with water.  Add star anise (or cinnamon stick) to the pot and bring to a boil.  Boil for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool until safe enough to handle before proceeding to step 3.

Step 3) Place a strainer over a second pot, and carefully pour the stones and liquid into the strainer.  Keep the liquid and any little bits of fruit that passes through the strainer!  Toss the stones into your compost bin.

Step 4) Add chopped plums, sugar, and pectin to the strained liquid and bring to a vigorous boil that cannot be stirred down.  Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.

Step 5) If you are canning your Jam-ly, ladle into sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Cover with lids and rims, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Or, just refrigerate your Jam-ly and either share with friends or consume within two weeks.


6 replies to “Plum Jam-ly

  1. The green plums in your picture are a little known delicacy, a very aromatic variety called Green Gage that lacks the bitter sourness of some plums. They are prized for making jams and compotes in southern Germany and Bohemia, whence i knew them as s. German: Ringlo or CZ: Ryngle.


    1. Thank you for sharing that – I had never seen such plums before, and to be honest, wasn’t completely sure if the plums in the photo were ripe. Once I learned to really keep my eyes open for such things, I was amazed at the fruit trees growing seemingly everywhere. Neighborhoods here at home are full of decorative trees (river birch, Japanese maple and such), but the almost complete absence of fruit and nut trees has long bothered me.

      1. I grew up north of Boston, were developments were built into the old apple orchards. My folks and i used to drive around in the Fall, and offer to clean the apples off peoples lawns. For them they were a nuisance. The attracted yellow-jackets (of which they were mortally terrified), they crushed the lawn, and when the decomposed the entire neighborhood smelt of vinegar.

        We made about 100 gallons of apple cider out of them. Gravenstiens. Great juice and made treacly sweet mulled cider. Then there was Apple Butter, Apple Crisp, Apple Pies, we even at them as fresh fruit. I always had one in my lunch box as a kid. Never got tired of them. Hard to find anymore. Though they are a German variety, the trees are enormously tall, and unsuitable for mechanical harvesting, among other things, so they have gone out of fashion.

        People in US don’t like fruit ruining their lawns, but out side of the Anglo-World lawns are less of a phenomenon. Hence … Fruit.

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