Preserve summer’s plums with this delicious recipe for low-sugar wild plum jam. (gluten-free)
Last year I shared with you the sweet wild plums that grow at the ranch. They are so adorable and delicious plucked straight from the bush! My husband used to always talk about the ranch plums, but I had never actually seen them until he brought some home last year. I was so surprised by how tiny they were!
I made a delicious Stone Fruit Cobbler and a yummy Roasted Plum and Honey Goat Cheese Toast with them, and then put the rest up in the form of wild plum jam. (I’ve been making my own jam for years now and have turned into a jam snob. It really is the best way to preserve summer fruit.)
What I didn’t know about these cute little plums until this year, though, was that they are kind of a pain in the ass to pick! Hubby and I went out to the ranch to harvest this year’s wild plums, and I now see why he wanted my help. The bushes these little gems grow on are very poky and scratchy, so you’ve got to wear some heavy-duty gloves and long sleeves along with your tall boots (in case of rattle snakes…yikes!) in the middle of the summer heat in order to escape with minimal scratches. It’s a little bit brutal. Luckily there was a little water in the river for us to cool off in post-plum picking.
But you know what makes scavenging through thorn-laden bushes, dodging spider webs and sweating through your gardening gloves worth it? This jam. I’ve made low-sugar strawberry, blackberry, apricot and various other flavors of jam, but I think my low-sugar wild plum jam is the best. There is something so awesome about knowing you picked the fruit and did all of the work to harvest and produce such a delicious jar of goodness that just makes it that much sweeter. The best thing about your own homemade jam is that you control what goes in it. All of the goodness of fruit and just a touch of sugar without all of the crap that’s in many commercially made big-brand jellies and jams.
We harvested plums a little late this year and missed a lot of them or lost them to bugs and birds, but we still came back with enough to make about a dozen and a half jars of deliciously sweet yet tart wild plum jam. Even though I ended up with blisters on my hands from using a cherry pitter on all of those tiny plums to get the pits out, it’s such a great feeling knowing I will have fresh summer fruit all year long, just waiting to be spread on sourdough toast, homemade biscuits, and English muffins for months to come.
Preserve summer's plums with this delicious recipe for low-sugar wild plum jam.
- 4 cups prepared wild or regular plums (see instructions below)
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp low sugar pectin
- 1/2 cup sugar
- To prepare the plums, wash them and remove the pits. (I use a cherry pitter for small wild plums). Place plums in a food mill and mash all of them, catching the juice in a large bowl. Discard the skins.
- Place milled plums, water, and lemon juice in a large stock pot. Stir in pectin and heat the mixture over high meat until it comes to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Make sure you are stirring the whole time to prevent the bottom from scorching.
- Add sugar and return to a rolling boil. Continue boiling for a minute, while stirring. Remove from heat.
- If you are not canning the jam, let cool for a few minutes before pouring into containers. Allow at least an hour in the refrigerator to solidify. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. It can also be frozen in freezer-safe containers.
- If you are canning the jam, follow the canning instructions from my Low-Sugar Strawberry Jam .
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