Plum Jam Recipe – No Pectin Required

by Alice Currah on September 12, 2009. Updated January 10, 2010

A few days ago my neighbor Jill stopped by with a bag full of ripened Italian plums just picked from her trees minutes earlier.  Instantly I knew I would have to make plum jam using the vibrant orangish-peach flesh.  All the jams I’ve made this year have been made without using pectin and are ridiculously easy to make. Plum jam is no exception.  All you need is fruit, or in this case plums, sugar, and a squeeze of lemon. That is it. Pretty easy huh?  So make some plum jam with the bounty of the season. Enjoy!


Easy No-Pectin Plum Jam Recipe


2 cups chopped plums, peels removed

1 cup sugar

1 Tbl. lemon juice


Cook plums and lemon juice on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add sugar and stir until everything is well combined. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes until the thickness of the jam has been reduced to the consistency of thick honey or 220 F. degrees stirring occasionally. Skim off the foam, remove from heat, and allow to cool. Enjoy!

Cutting, pitting, and peeling the plums the good old fashion way.. with my fingers and paring knife.
The fruit of my labor.
Just a little squeeze of lemon will do.
Step 1: Cooking the plums by themselves for a few minutes.
Step 2: Adding the sugar to begin the process of reducing and preserving.
Step 3: Watching the fruit break down and reducing the liquid.
Final Step: Nothing. Congrats, you’re there.

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{ 95 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael September 27, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I really enjoyed this recipe. Thanks.


tiffany November 10, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Thanks! Turned out great~


Shellie December 9, 2011 at 4:50 am

Lovely easy recipe! Thanks! I also added 4 cloves and a sprinkle of cinnamon – slight spice. Yummy!


Feather December 22, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Can you make jelly without pectin?


Cheryl March 27, 2012 at 11:54 am

I am trying this now, however, I left the skins and put all in a Ninja food processor. It is cooking now so I hope it turns out for me too! Thank you..


Leslie August 6, 2012 at 2:28 pm

How well did the jam turn out using the food processor and keeping the skins? I was thinking of doing the same thing.


Emily June 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Leslie ~ I have used the processor in the past for plum jam, and it works perfectly! :) Skins and all!!!! Happy canning!


Donna April 18, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Can I substitute lime juice instead of lemon??


Cindy May 25, 2012 at 11:22 am

So then could that same recipe be used with other fruits, to make jam? Thank you so much


Diana May 28, 2012 at 11:06 am

How long will they last done this way? How do you store & where?


Lisa July 14, 2012 at 10:09 am

This recipe worked perfectly. I added a tiny splash of vanilla and a little cinnamon. I also substituted raw sugar for regular. Delicious.


Kristen July 17, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Amazing recipe. Just tried it. Tastes great. Thank you so much!!!!


Maribel August 13, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Thanks for your recipe…my family loved it!!!


Diana August 22, 2012 at 2:41 pm

But the peels add so much flavor and turn the jam a lovely plum color, try making your jam without peeling! I use about 8 cups chopped plums, 2 cups sugar and the juice of one small lemon to start and add more sugar if necessary. I’ve already canned 16 pints of whole plums in light(10%) syrup and now I have my first batch of plum jam simmering. We picked about 40 lbs off our little tree! Next I’m making peachbutter from the 80! pounds of peaches also from a single tree. It’s been a bumper fruit year here.


Jack Doherty September 19, 2013 at 1:33 pm

I am going to give your recipe a go. How long did you cook the plums, sugar and lemon juice before canning?


melinda August 29, 2012 at 8:12 pm

so i am making this with plums and left skin on..its cooking but its chunky…any ideas???


melinda August 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm

oh and they were started on stove abt 4 hours ago….


Diana August 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm

4 hours! I think mine cooked for less then an hour. Did you chop them first? There are a few chunks in mine but that’s not a negative in my opinion. You could use a stick blender if you like it smooth though. What kind of plums do you have? Mine are an Italien plum although my volunteer plum trees are green plums which I still need to process. Today I’m canning green tomato chutney!


Dana Quenneville September 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I blanched my plums to skin them (like you would do peaches or tomatoes) and the color changed to a beautiful red/pink, there was less waste of flesh and i just pulled the skin off with my fingers. This jam is yummy and beautiful.


Cori September 20, 2012 at 10:26 pm

I made this recipe today with plums from our neighbor’s tree. I doubled the recipe and used lime juice. I did not peel the plums just chunked them up. Leaving the peelings on gave the jam a beautiful rosey red color. Tart but I liked not using so much sugar!
Thanks for sharing this recipe.


Allison September 24, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Easiest first jam recipe ever. Tastes awesome. Thanks!


Gerhard December 17, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I tried this recipe without pectin and it didn’t work at all. My jam was completely runny.


Kathy January 14, 2013 at 3:38 am

Well, I have never made jam before.This is so easy. The plum jam is the best that I have ever tasted. It is lovely and thick and I did leave the skins on but took the pips out. It is a beautiful dark plum in color. Will use this recipe in future to make my own jam. Thank you.


Iris February 22, 2013 at 4:48 pm

My jam has been cooking about 40 minutes. Can I put the jam in jars and store them in the pantry or do they need to be refrigerated? I also made some using Nevella (sweetner).


Maitreyee April 6, 2013 at 11:44 pm

How many cups does this make? I don’t know how many jars to get.


Melea June 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I’m working on this right now and I forgot about my very ripe plums that were in a plastic bag in the car last night. Texas heat and by mid day my skins peeled right off. I’ve blanched before and that works but this was so much easier and so juicy.


Ann July 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I make my jam exactly like the recipe calls for….this time I didn’t have a lemon but it tastes just fine…I put the whole plum in pit, skin and all….after it cooked into the consistancy where most of it was mushy… before I added the sugar…with a slotted spoon took out the pits….used the immersion and then added the sugar and cooked it until it had the consistancy of honey…..just came out perfect and because the skins add so much flavor…really came out super.


Dodie July 15, 2013 at 5:24 pm

I am looking for a recipe for “Black Plum and Walnut Jam”. Can anyone help me?


sf July 18, 2013 at 12:54 am

Trying to save this recipe to Pinterest. What is going on with your images??? They are rotated when I use my own Pin button and they are still rotated when I use yours. Feeling frustrated at the moment.


Alice Currah July 18, 2013 at 1:38 am

Hi, I don’t know why it is doing that. I’ve had the same problems when I try pinning. Most of the time it works but occasionally it will do that. Sorry.


lisa August 26, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Do I have to put wax on top or boil the jars after I make this jam in order to preserve it
I am making quite a lot and want to give it away. Does it need to be refrigerated?


Alice Currah August 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Hi Lisa, Unfortunately I do not can so I cannot assist you in your question.


Aiming4 August 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm

You need to boil them in a canning bath for 10 minutes I believe, if you want to store the jars in the pantry. Otherwise, keep them in the refrigerator or freezer, which is what I do.


Joyce August 31, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Why would you peal the skins off? They add to the color of the jam by turning it a beautiful jewel tone of a purplish pink. It is a shame not to include them.


isabell September 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Hi, How many 250gms does this recipe makes? Thanks!, I will want to try it to make today my frind gave me 2 kilos of Plums and they are delicious is my first time making jam so im a little nervous any opinions are welcome!


Shannon September 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Very good added cinnamon recipe is bubbling away fingers crossed for a good result


cornz September 29, 2013 at 3:54 pm

making now, with cinnamon, mixed spice, few cloves. I have added a teaspoon of pectin.
Looks/smells lovely. Remove the foam, looks nicer in jars.


katrina November 2, 2013 at 9:55 am

just about to try making this hope it goes ok and taste yummy too.


Julie lamont January 27, 2014 at 2:00 am

I made satsuma plum jam last year without using pectin. It turned out too thick and difficult to spread. Is there any way of salvaging it!


kathy June 12, 2014 at 7:48 pm

I have those deep purple plums when ripe they are soft and seem too hard to remove the pit. Should i pick them a little sooner from the tree to try to cut them. they are very juices when ripe


Dawn J June 20, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Holly cow…this is amazing! I used raw sugar, lime instead of lemon, and added a bit of cinnamon.


Julie September 6, 2014 at 3:15 am

I made this the first time with domestic plums, using Diana’s modifications (skins on & much more fruit to less sugar) and it turned out wonderful! Today I made plum jam again using wild plums (which have VERY TART skins). I used about 8c plums and 4.5c sugar. Still has a bit of tartness, but good. Next time (I have lots more wild plums) I might try the jelly variety and use less sugar.
I have yet to use pectin in my jam/jelly making this year! Oops – may have used it once.


tim September 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm

use the majic bullet for chopping, peels on, went fast trying trying your recipe, thank you.


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