Make yummy, pectin-free Italian Plum Jam with prune plums! Small batch recipe makes about 3 half pints, and canning directions are included.
Make yummy, pectin-free Italian Plum Jam with prune plums! Small batch recipe makes about 3 half pints, and canning directions are included.

A good friend of our family brought us an incredibly HUGE amount of Italian plums last summer. He had been given so many by one of his neighbors there was no way he could eat them all. So… he blessed us with them! We ate some, and I made several jars of this delicious jam AND used the rest to bake an incredible Italian Plum Shortbread Tart!

I’ve made literally HUNDREDS of jars of jam over the years, but had never tried making plum jam until I tried this recipe. It is so very good! This small batch recipe is convenient, especially if you don’t eat lots of jam! This way, you can just try it, and you won’t be overwhelmed with prep work or make “too many to eat” jars of jam! It is a pectin-free jam made with only THREE ingredients! I’ve also included the instructions to safely can this jam, if you don’t plan on eating it right away, or want to make a few jars for storage in your pantry.

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Prepare The Italian “Prune” Plums

Behold… the humble Italian prune plum. Black/grey in color, oblong shaped, and typically harvested in late August, they’re very unassuming, as far as fruit goes. But let me tell you… they taste wonderful!
NOTE: Plan ahead to make this jam, because the prepared plums need to be refrigerated overnight!

To prepare the plums for jam, begin by cutting each one into quarters, and removing and discarding the seeds. Place the quartered, pitted plums into a large bowl. You will need a total of 2 pounds of plums for this small batch recipe, so get cutting! The insides of the plums are a brilliant golden hue (before cooking). 

Italian prune plums are oblong in shape, and black and grey in color.Italian plums are cut into quarters, pitted, and the flesh is golden in color before cooking.

Add granulated sugar and the juice of a lemon to the plums, and stir well, to combine these ingredients. Once combined, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator. Allow the plums to refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours for best results.

Granulated sugar and fresh lemon juice are stirred into the plums, then they're refrigerated overnight.

After being refrigerated overnight, the plum mixture is ready to be cooked into jam.

Cooking The Italian Plum Jam

Since this Italian plum jam is being made without pectin, before you begin cooking the plums, place a small plate into your freezer to get it really cold. NOTE: You will use the freezing cold plate to test the jam for doneness later on, so this is an important step!

Pour the refrigerated plum mixture into a medium-sized saucepan. Turn the heat to MEDIUM, and bring this mixture to a boil. Once boiling, continue to cook the plums for about 2 minutes, stirring often. As they cook, the plums will perform magic and turn into a bright red color… isn’t that awesome?

Now turn the heat down to LOW, and continue to cook, stirring often for another 15- 20 minutes. Skim off and discard white foam that rises to the surface as it cooks

While the Italian plum jam cooks, the plums turn from golden in color to red.

To check to see if the jam is ready, grab the plate out of the freezer. Put a teaspoon of hot jam onto the frozen plate. If the jam “sets up” within the first minute, the Italian plum jam is ready. If the jam is too runny, put the plate back in the freezer and continue to cook the jam a few more minutes. Try again, and once the jam will set up, it’s ready. Remove the saucepan from the heat.

To test for doneness, a spoonful of hot jam is placed on a frozen plate to see if the jam sets up.

Canning Italian Plum Jam

Canning jars and lids will need to be clean, sterilized and hot, following recommended USDA guidelines for safe canning. The total amount of jam (as written) this small batch yields is approximately 3 cups. Because this is a small batch, I usually get about 3 half pint jars for canning (sometimes a little extra for the refrigerator), but you can easily double or triple the recipe.

Spoon or pour jam through a canning funnel into sterilized jars, leaving a headspace of 1/8″. Use a plastic utensil to remove air bubbles in the jars, then wipe the rims of the jars clean with a damp towel. Attach prepared flat lids and add screw bands, then tighten to fingertip tightness. Process the jars of Italian plum jam (in boiling water at least 1″ above the top of the jars) in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Remove hot jars with tongs and place on a dish towel on the counter. NOTE: Do not place boiling hot jars directly on countertops because differences in temps. could cause jars to crack. Let the jars sit undisturbed for about 12 hours. The jam will thicken slightly as it cools, and jars should seal during this time (you should hear a pinging sound as they seal). If sealed correctly, lids should have no give when tested by gently pressing down on the lid with a finger after jam cools. Any jars that do not correctly seal should be refrigerated. Label sealed jars, and store in pantry (or refrigerator, if desired).

Jars of jam being processed in a water bath canner.

Italian Plum Jam Is Ready To Enjoy!

Keep jam refrigerated, once the jar has been opened. Italian Plum Jam tastes fantastic straight out of the jar, or spread on toast or English muffins. It is also really yummy mixed into plain Greek yogurt, or as a topping for vanilla ice cream. YUM! The recipe as written is estimated to yield about 48 Tablespoons (or servings) of jam, so even this small batch should last for a little while.

A pint jar of Italian Plum Jam, only half full after a lot of jam has been gobbled up.A toasted English muffin, covered with Italian Plum Jam, and ready to enjoy.

I hope you have the opportunity to make a small batch of this Italian plum jam for yourself and those you love. Thanks for stopping by today, and I invite you to come back soon for more family-friendly recipes. Take care, may God bless you… and have a GREAT day!

Looking for More JAM Recipes?

You can find ALL of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have lots of delicious homemade jam recipes for you to enjoy, including:

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Original recipe source: Lora at: savoringitaly.com/italian-plum-jam/

↓↓ PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW ↓↓

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Italian Plum Jam (small batch)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Refrigeration Time (inactive-overnight)
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 40 mins
 

Make yummy, pectin-free Italian Plum Jam with prune plums! Small batch recipe makes about 3 half pints, and canning directions are included.

Category: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Italian plum jam
Servings: 48 Tablespoons (approx. 3 cups total)
Calories Per Serving: 33 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds Italian prune plums pitted, quartered
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon, JUICE only
Instructions
Prepping The Plums:
  1. NOTE: Plan ahead- prepared plums need to be refrigerated overnight!

    Cut each plum into quarters: remove/discard pits. Put plums into large bowl. Add sugar and lemon juice; stir well, to combine. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator. Refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours for best results.

Cooking Jam:
  1. Before you cook the plums, place a small plate into your freezer. NOTE: You will use freezing cold plate to test jam for doneness later, so this is an important step!

    Pour refrigerated plums into medium-sized saucepan. Turn to MEDIUM eat; bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, continue cooking plums for 2 minutes, stirring often. Turn heat down to LOW. Continue to cook, stirring often, for 15- 20 minutes (plums will turn red). Skim off/discard white foam that rises to surface,

  2. To see if jam is ready, remove plate from freezer. Put a teaspoon of hot jam on plate. If jam "sets up" within first minute, jam is ready. If jam is too runny, put plate back in freezer; continue to cook jam 2-4 more minutes. Try again, and once jam will set up, it's ready. Remove saucepan from the heat.

Canning Instructions:
  1. Canning jars and lids need to be clean, sterilized and hot, following recommended USDA guidelines for safe canning. This small batch will yield approx. 3 cups ( about 3 half pint jars), but you can easily double or triple recipe.

    Spoon or pour jam (using a a canning funnel) into sterilized jars, leaving a headspace of 1/8". Use a plastic utensil to remove air bubbles in jars, then wipe rims of jars clean with a damp towel. Attach prepared flat lids and add screw bands; tighten to fingertip tightness. Process jam (in boiling water at least 1" above top of jars) in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.

    Remove jars with tongs; place on a dish towel on counter. NOTE: Do not place boiling hot jars directly on countertop because temperature variations could cause jars to crack. Let jars sit undisturbed for about 12 hours. Jam will thicken as it cools, and jars should seal; (you hear a pinging sound as they seal). If sealed correctly, lids should have no give when tested by gently pressing down on the lid with a finger after jam cools. Any jars that don't seal should be refrigerated. Label sealed jars; store in pantry. After opening jar, keep refrigerated.

Nutrition Facts
Italian Plum Jam (small batch)
Amount Per Serving (1 Tablespoon)
Calories 33 Calories from Fat 1
% Daily Value*
Fat 0.1g0%
Saturated Fat 0.003g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.01g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.03g
Sodium 0.1mg0%
Potassium 30mg1%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 0.3g1%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 0.1g0%
Vitamin A 65IU1%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 1mg0%
Iron 0.04mg0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Make yummy, pectin-free Italian Plum Jam with prune plums! Small batch recipe makes about 3 half pints, and canning directions are included.

Italian Plum Jam

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