Make it from Scratch Challenge..No Pectin Plum Jam

My aunt stopped by for a visit and she was bearing a gift. She had brought us a nice bucket of plums from her plum tree.

These plums were very plump, juicy and flavorful. But I knew we wouldn’t be able to eat them all before they would go bad so I decided to make some jam.

Plum Jam with no added pectin

After I held a few out for eating I took the other three pounds and washed them really well. I don’t know why but plums always have this gritty, powdery substance on them, so I scrubbed that off. Then I sliced them in half to remove the pit. Then I chopped them up a bit and added some sugar to them.

Plums washed and cut


Sugar Added to the plums

Sugar stirred into plums

I gave them time to sit in the refrigerator overnight to make some nice juice to cook them in the next day. This process called maceration and helps to bring some juice out of the fruit.

After Sitting Overnight

The next day I had lots of juice in with the plums so it was time to cook them up. At first, the mixture is just juice and chopped plums.

But as the cooking goes on the liquid boils off and the skins color the jam to a lovely dark purple. You want to boil and constantly stir the mixture until you reach the gel point, which is 220 degrees.

To test the gel point I usually place a small plate in the freezer and then when I am ready to test the jam,  I add a small amount of jam to the plate and then back into the freezer it goes for a minute or two.

If the jam seems to be set, no longer runny, then I am ready to stop the cooking process.


Once the jam was at the gel point I processed it in a water bath canner and ended up with three jars of plum jam. One jar was opened right away by my husband, to use as a topping for his ice cream. 🙂

Plum Jam in Jar

Here’s the recipe I used for my jam.

Plum Jam in Jar

No Pectin Plum Jam

Author Shelly


  • 3 pounds of Plums washed, pitted and chopped
  • 1 cup of sugar


  • Mix the plums with the sugar and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Place the plums and any liquid into a large pot and cook over high heat to the gelling point (220 degrees) stirring constantly.
  • Cool and store in the refrigerator or you can process it in a water bath canner.


This was my first try at making plum jam and it turned out so well I am sure I will be adding it to my canning list for next year.

Have you tried a new recipe lately?


This post is part of the Make it from Scratch Challenge hosted by Crystal of Money Saving Mom


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25 thoughts on “Make it from Scratch Challenge..No Pectin Plum Jam”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and process! I would love to get into making my own jams. I just ate the last plum from the store, but now I am looking forward to the next farmer’s market!!

    1. Your welcome Kay, I make quite a few jams but this was my first try at Plum jam. Everyone at our house loved the jam in fact one jar is already gone. 🙂 I knew I should have made more. Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Danica, I think it would work for berries, apricots and peaches/nectarines. I have made rhubarb jam without any pectin too. I don’t think it would work for strawberries as they don’t have enough natural pectin but if you added a grated apple to the strawberries that might work. I hope that helps. 🙂

  2. I have 2 medium bags of frozen plums to do jam with and was wondering how much sugar I should add to do my jam?

    1. Lynne, it would depend on how much your plums weigh. If they are around 3 pounds for both bags then 1 cup of sugar should work well. If you have closer to 4-5 pounds I would try 1.5 cups of sugar. I hope that helps.

  3. First try a making any sort of jam. My neighbor has 2 plum trees and gave me about 8 lbs.. I tried your recipe and it worked fine. I got compliments from 2 neighbors – they loved it. I tweaked it a little by adding some powdered ginger and a teaspoon of lemon juice. I did not do the “canning process” but used some ZipLoc containers – let everyone know they should refrigerate it. Totally pleased with the recipe.

    1. David, I like your changes to the recipe, it sounds really good. It’s so nice to have great neighbors who share with you. We have wonderful neighbors like that too. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

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