One huge benefit of having fruit trees (besides the yummy fruit it yields) is getting to make jam! This season, our plum tree has been producing more fruit than we can keep up with, even with giving bucketfuls away to family.
Yesterday, I realized the plums I picked last week were still in the fridge and had gotten quite ripe, so, I thought to myself, why not make some jam? I had never made jam before but didn’t think it would be terribly difficult. Thanks to Google, I was able to find this recipe that is SCD legal since it uses honey, instead of sugar, to sweeten the jam. I didn’t have pectin, which I found out is a naturally-occurring thickening agent used in jams but luckily, my jam set perfectly without it. I also didn’t have cardamom on hand nor did I add water, since my plums were already very ripe and mushy after I chopped them.
Also, in case you’re wondering why my plum jam looks more like apricot jam, it’s because our plum tree at home grows three different types of plums — green, orange, and purple, and I used the orange variety. I just thought I’d mention that, since a friend of mine asked me about that today and I can now see why she was puzzled about it.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
- 4 cups plums, pitted and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups honey
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp orange juice
Get your freshly washed plums and pit them. I do this by cutting around the corners and taking the pits out.
Afterward, you can either chop the plums by hand or do what I did and put them in the food processor. I found that the latter was much more efficient.
Now, get a large, deep pot. If I could do it all over again, I would have not used the small pot I had because it made the jam-making process so annoying. The jam kept splattering on my face and arms, burning me. Also, by the time I was done making the jam, the entire stovetop, microwave, counter space, and ground was sticky with jam. I also had to wear a robe and two oven mitts (the oven mitts met their demise last night, as they were completely covered with jam by the time I was done!) to prevent further burning. I bet if anyone were watching me, it would have been a hilarious sight! So, again, I repeat: get the deepest pot you have and set it aside!
After you have your pot, measure out your honey, set your stove on a little less than medium low heat, and pour the honey inside.
Give it a minute or two for the honey to warm up.
Next, stir in your plums.
Keep stirring, so that the honey doesn’t burn, until everything comes to a boil (this takes a bit of time.) Afterward, add in your lemon juice and orange juice. Now, here’s the fun part: keep stirring until the mixture thickens and turns into jam. You’ll notice that white foam will appear on top throughout the process; don’t worry, that’s normal, just keep keep stirring and mixing the jam.
I read that if you want to use a candy thermometer to better gauge when your jam is ready, that the thermometer should read 220 degrees, since that’s the ideal setting point. However, my jam ended up setting at about 180-200 degrees. You’ll know it’s ready once the mixture thickens. For me, it took about an hour and a half, on low to almost medium low heat, for my jam to harden.
When it hardens, you should be able to scoop it up like this and not have it be watery.
Alas, time for pictures of the finished product. Ladies and gentleman, I give you homemade jam!
After making this jam, I was then compelled to go to Target and buy some cute Mason jars!
The jam itself is absolutely delicious! I LOVE plums, so having plum jam is like icing on the cake for me.
Although it can be a little time consuming, homemade jam is not hard to make and is totally worth the time it takes to make. It feels so much better eating something that has only 4 simple ingredients, as opposed to a whole laundry list of ingredients that are made up of chemicals and can’t be pronounced.