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Damson Plum Cardamom Jam

Rated as 4.76 out of 5 Stars

"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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7 h 30 m servings 42
Original recipe yields 100 servings (12 pints)


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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Per Serving: 42 calories; 0.1 10.7 0.2 < 1 < 1 Full nutrition

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  1. 21 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

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 carda...

Most helpful critical review

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 Tablesp...

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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 carda...

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 ve...

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. ...

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 g...

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. ...

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...

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 m...

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 p...

Plums and cardamom - what a combination! I love making preserves without pectin, because all you taste is summer.