My mom makes the best jams I have ever tried. My favorite is her plum jam recipe. In Albanian, plum jam is called reçel kumbulle. There are several ways to make this jam. My recipe below is made with red sweet plums but keep in mind that there are several plum varieties so feel free to adjust the recipe accordingly. This Red Plum Jam recipe is simple, delicious, made for a small batch with no added pectin.
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Fruit Seasonality & Jams
Back in my native country of Albania and I assume in most other Mediterranean countries, we had a seasonality flow to our culinary routines. Summer and early Fall meant lots of fruits and fresh produce. I remember as a child I was so excited for June 1st (children’s day) that usually coincided with first cherries of the season:). Once a certain’s fruit season would come to an end, prices would drop really low and fruits were not as firm anymore. You had to eat it same day or fruit would go bad.
This recipe is for Red Plum Jam but I’m also including a very short video of a Black Jam for visual representations as methods are very similar. Follow the recipe card for recipe on the red plum jam.
Our way to prolong this seasonality a bit was to time the last week of that fruit’s seasonality and load up few kilograms. That same night, we would de-seed or chop etc and make jam. The house would smell delicious and I would dream of my breakfast for the next day: fresh bread with butter and homemade jam.
I remember we mostly made jams at home and some marmalade, but no jelly. If you would like to read more about different ways to preserve fruits, check out this article that breaks it all down and I found very interesting: Jam, Jelly and Other Methods to Preserve Fruits.
Red Plum Jam Recipe
Here are some tips on how to make this a successful recipe. It simple but based on several factors you might need to tweak the recipe a little bit.
- I don’t include any canning methods here since this is a small batch. We usually finish this portion in about a week so that is good enough for this jam to stay in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator.
- Try the plums you are going to use for this recipe. If they are firm, not sweet or a different type than the red one, you might need to adjust the quantity of sugar to be sweet enough for you. Red plums are very sweet. I also picked them to be almost soft which yields the sweetest plums you’ll try. That makes for a natural sweet jam and you’ll need to add very little sugar to help set the jam.
- In Albania we mostly had a purple type of plum, egg shape and not as sweet as the red plums I used for this jam. Those plums from back home are known otherwise as Italian plums. If you are making your jam with Italian plums, you’ll need to use pectin and sugar or a lot more sugar than the recipe below.
- My favorite way to serve this jam is for breakfast. However, you can serve it over some brie cheese and crackers, in cakes and cookies!
- I used 1.5 cups of water for 1.5 lbs of red plums. If you would like the jam to be a bit more runny, increase water to about 2 cups.
- Plums are naturally high in pectin, so this jam doesn’t really need added pectin.
- Yield might very a little bit, but I usually get a jar of about 10 oz of jam out of this recipe.
Homemade Red Plum Jam [No Pectin]
- 2 lbs red plums
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsps lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1.5 cups water make it 2 cups if you like the jam to be a bit runny and not too thick
- Wash the plums, remove the seeds and then chop them. Add to the pot.
- Add water to chopped plums, turn heat on high. Add sugar and mix slowly until all sugar has dissolved. Once water has started to boil, stop stirring. Add lemon juice and lemon zest.
- Lower temperature to medium. A foam might form, but you don't have to remove it. It will get absorbed again into the jam mixture. After about 20 minutes lower temperature to low. Cover and let it simmer for another 25 minutes. By then jam should be thick, still a bit runny and as it chills it should really set.
- Let it cool in the pot. Once cool enough to handle, use a ladle to pour over a glass jar (sterilize the glass jar before hand in a pot of boiling water). Cover the jar and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy it over toast or any dessert of choice!
- If using black plums (like in my video), than I suggest adding the sugar over the chopped plums and let the plums absorb the sugar for about 15 minutes or so, then boil.
- You can use an orange instead of lemon too.
If you would like to save this jam recipe for later, please save below image to Pinterest. I really appreciate it:).
Other Summer Recipes
Check out few of more other seasonal recipes: