Canning Week continues! This easy raspberry plum jam tastes like summer in a jar and can be enjoyed year-round.
The summer of 2013 will go down in history as That Time I Went Crazy with Jam. I’m finally getting comfortable with the process of canning in general and enjoying exploring new recipes, but jam will always have a special place in my heart. It’s easy, it’s fun, and there are so many fun combinations. This plum and raspberry jam is the latest in a long string of jams I’ve made this summer, and possibly my favorite.
Combining plums with raspberries is genius in several ways. First of all, it’s a great combination and one that you’re likely not going to find in the grocery store. It definitely screams homemade with love. Also, raspberries are expensive and adding plums is a great way to stretch the raspberry flavor while keeping your costs down.
One other thing I love about jam is that it makes great gifts. I’ve got a stockpile of jars in my basement just waiting for the holidays, and another stockpile reserved just for me. My friends and I will be enjoying the flavors of summer all winter long!
Making Jam Without Pectin
Many jam recipes call for commercial pectin to help it gel and thicken. The thing is, pectin is naturally occurring in the skin, seeds and flesh of fruit and additional pectin isn’t necessary. The process of drawing out the natural pectin and allowing the jam to gel on its own is longer, but I believe the result is a better tasting final product.
Some fruits have low a pectin content, so it may be trickier to get them to gel on their own. Examples are apricots, cherries, peaches, pears, rhubarb and berries. You may choose to use pectin when making jam with these fruits, or try combining them with fruits that are high in pectin, like apples, cranberries, plums, and lemons.
So how do you know your jam has jelled correctly? Here’s a great cheat sheet on the 3 ways to test the jelling point.
This homemade jam made from fresh plums and raspberries is like summer in a jar and can be enjoyed year-round!
- 1 lb (454 grams) raspberries
- 3 lbs (1360 grams) plums, sliced and pits removed (leave skins on)
- 5 cups (1000 grams) sugar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) bottled lemon juice
- Zest of 1 orange
- Combine the raspberries, sliced plums, sugar, lemon juice, and orange zest in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Place over medium high heat and stir frequently as the sugar dissolves and the fruit begins to release its juices.
- Continue to cook, stirring frequently as the jam simmers and thickens. Skim any foam off of the surface with a spoon.
- (Optional) While the jam is simmering, remove plum skins with a spoon. It is slightly tedious but I prefer the texture of the jam without the skins.
- (Optional) If you prefer fewer raspberry seeds, simply place a mesh strainer over the pot. Ladle 1/3-1/2 of the mixture into the strainer and push it through with a spatula back into the pot. Discard raspberry seeds.
- Once the jam is reduced and thickened (see tip above), remove from heat and ladle jam into sterilized jars. Top with a lid and screw on with a ring.
- Process jars in a water bath for 10 minutes (15 minutes for 5,000+ ft elevation). Remove from water bath and let cool. Check that lids have sealed by pressing down into the center of each one. It should not move.
- Store jam in a cool dry place like a pantry and consume within 1 year.
Note: I used a variety of plums in this jam. Use whatever you have available at your grocery store or farmer's market.