The Damson plum makes a tart, flavorful, soft-setting jam that is a rich, deep wine-colored spread for cookies, waffles, bread, or anything else, really. Cardamom adds an unusual and subtle perfume to these preserves. Though this recipe does take some time to complete, the majority of the cooking time is hands-off. The best part? You will not need to purchase pectin from the store! Adjust the sugar content to your liking, erring on the side of less sweet, as the jam will cook down considerably.

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Recipe Summary

cook:
5 hrs 30 mins
additional:
2 hrs
total:
7 hrs 30 mins
Servings:
100
Yield:
12 pints
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Ingredients

100
Original recipe yields 100 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a sink full of cool water, rinse and de-stem the plums. Place them in a thick-bottomed pan suitable for slow cooking and deep enough to allow frothing when the plums begin to boil. Add the water and cardamom pods and bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat. Turn heat to low for a slow simmer and allow the fruit to cook down uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Allow the plums to cool.

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  • To pit the plums, strain the cooled plums with a colander, pressing the juice out with your hands and collecting it in a large bowl. Pick up the pit-and-fruit slurry in the colander by small handfuls and squeeze the plum pulp and skins gently into the bowl with the syrup, retaining the pits in the palm of your hand and then discarding them.

  • Put the plums back into the original pot with the sugar and butter. Cook at a very low simmer until the mixture begins to thicken, about 4 hours. To test for adequate development of pectin, drop a spoonful of the jam on a plate and put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes: the mixture should be soft-set and no longer syrupy.

  • Ladle the hot jam into hot, sterile jars, wipe the rims clean, place sterile lids on, and tighten the screw caps. Allow the jars to cool to room temperature and check to be sure that each jar has sealed.

Nutrition Facts

42 calories; protein 0.2g; carbohydrates 10.7g 3% DV; fat 0.1g; cholesterolmg; sodium 0.2mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (20)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
07/27/2010
I am trying this today with homegrown plums a friend gave us. Hope it works! Will try to update later. Update: Very good! I like that this recipe didn't use fruit pectin. I didn't have the cardamon pods so I used lemon rind and dried mint which turned out to have a very nice flavor. I know I know I changed a major ingred. in the recipe...but it turned really nice! Thanks for submitting! Read More
(19)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
07/05/2017
So far sounds perfect- I hate pitting fruit to can. I do a lemon jam this way so I'm pretty sure it'll work. I did put in 2 cinnamon sticks about a teaspoon of ground cardamom and a Tablespoon of lemon juice. Update: I learned a cool method of pitting and peeling but jam is too tart and didn't firm up stayed a syrup. Fruit also had a burnt flavor because it cooked so long. Will be a perfect cobbler filling. Read More
23 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 17
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
07/27/2010
I am trying this today with homegrown plums a friend gave us. Hope it works! Will try to update later. Update: Very good! I like that this recipe didn't use fruit pectin. I didn't have the cardamon pods so I used lemon rind and dried mint which turned out to have a very nice flavor. I know I know I changed a major ingred. in the recipe...but it turned really nice! Thanks for submitting! Read More
(19)
Rating: 4 stars
10/06/2010
I believe the plums I used were Italian prune plums which I understand are much sweeter than sour Damsons but I used all the same proportions of ingredients called for in the recipe. Still very good jam especially with the cardamom! After the plums were cooked I ran them through a food mill. After I added the butter and sugar to the mixture I only cooked the jam about an hour more (low simmer). My yield was about 9 half pints. I also processed them in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (I live at high altitude-- about 4600 feet) Thanks for the recipe! Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
10/09/2011
Turned out very well! I did use sugar free pectin along w/ 1/2c of sugar (1/4c truvia 1/4c regular sugar). The plums I had were only about 3 lbs worth but yielded 4 nice small jars of jam. It did set a bit light but very good. I also added 2 cinnamon sticks. Would make again! Thanks!! Read More
(10)
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Rating: 5 stars
06/13/2015
This jam is superb! I love that the tangy sweet flavor of the plums is enhanced by the long slow cook they get. I did remove the cardamom pods when I pitted the plums and added a teaspoon of ground cardamom with the sugar. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly and my jam set up perfectly well without any pectin. I have a plum tree that is currently loaded with fruit so I will definitely be making more of this to give to loved ones at the holidays! Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
09/16/2016
Only had 2.14 lbs so the cardamom was dropped to 7 pods and the sugar to 2 cups. Cooked for about an hour and made 4 half-pints. Never again will I waste my time or ingredients by fishing for plum seeds in the jam. Cut the plums in half before you begin, remove the seeds, and save yourself a lot of mess, time, and most importantly, fruit. The finished jam is tart and delicious. Will make it any time I can get my hands on Damsons. Read More
(4)
Rating: 4 stars
06/24/2013
The jam tastes great but it did not set up for me. It's more of a plum sauce than jam. If you are an inexperienced jam maker probably best to use some pectin. Perhaps if I knew more about jam making I would have recognized that it was not going to set up. Read More
(3)
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Rating: 5 stars
08/15/2017
This turned out so nice. At the farmers market I found some lovely tart plums. They made a deal with me since I was buying 5 lb. These plums had a a fairly free stone so I pitted them before beginning. Because of the long process time and so many things happening I pitted the plums the night before and refrigerated them in water with a splash of lemon juice. I used that as cooking liquid the next day. I did add a little ground allspice in the second cooking. It smelled heavenly. Since this was my first attempt I am not sure if this added a lot but the flavor is so good. I will make this again! Update! I took this into work today with some English muffins and a few cheeses. I also took in a jar of my apricot jam. This was gone in short order. It is a little tart and a little spicy. This is going to be a part of my party package gift packages. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
07/03/2017
Adapted this recipe to a quarter-batch using dark prune plums. Worked perfectly except for cooking time. Simmered for two hours after removing pits and began to suspect that was way too long. I was right -- the jam was delicious but set up like rubber. Second batch cooking time after pit removal = 45 minutes. Jam turned out perfect. Suggestion: Add Allspice alongside the Cardemom. Tasted good! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
07/06/2012
We devoured this jam with leftover plums (not damsom perhaps but a sour variety) and enjoyed it most with queso fresco cheese on toast. Read More
(2)
Rating: 3 stars
07/05/2017
So far sounds perfect- I hate pitting fruit to can. I do a lemon jam this way so I'm pretty sure it'll work. I did put in 2 cinnamon sticks about a teaspoon of ground cardamom and a Tablespoon of lemon juice. Update: I learned a cool method of pitting and peeling but jam is too tart and didn't firm up stayed a syrup. Fruit also had a burnt flavor because it cooked so long. Will be a perfect cobbler filling. Read More