If you think making jam is complicated and time consuming, this plum and ginger jam is the perfect jam recipe to change your mind. It’s simple and delicious, and you don’t need to block off your whole weekend to make it.
Plum jam is definitely one of my favourites. Add some fresh ginger to the mix and I’m in heaven. This plum and ginger jam recipe is simple and wonderful. It doesn’t require extra ingredients like pectin or lemon juice. Just plums, ginger, and sugar. I like to make it in small batches so it doesn’t take all day, and I recycle old jars to store it in. Yep that’s right, you don’t need to go out and buy new jars or lids!
Ingredients you’ll need to make this jam
- Plums: I use Italian prune plums for this (see image below). Feel free to try using other types of plums, but individual results may vary.
- Ginger: As fresh as you can get it.
- Sugar: Plain white sugar is all you need
Equipment you’ll need
- Two large pots: One for cooking the jam, and one for sterilizing and sealing the jars. If you have a canner, even better!
- Several cloths and tea towels: For handling jars and preventing clanking around in the pot
- A thermometer: Optional, but it helps indicate when the jam is ready to be jarred. My favourite is the Thermopop from Thermoworks. (that’s an affiliate link meaning I earn a small commission if you purchase through it.)
- Jars: I use a variety of recycled jars and their lids—preferably wide-mouth for easy filling. Many store-bought preserves come in jars with lids that have the potential to be sealed and re-sealed multiple times, but this is a riskier approach than using 100% brand new canning lids. See the FAQ section below for more info on that.
- Tongs or a jar lifter: to remove the jars from the boiling water
- A metal jam funnel: Optional, but it really helps keep the rims of your jars clean while filling them.
- A metal funnel: Also optional, and I don’t happen to have one. But I often wish I did because it makes the jarring process much less messy.
How to make this plum and ginger jam
Follow these steps to make this delightful plum and ginger jam:
- Wash, pit, and roughly chop the plums, and add them to the pot.
- Add the sugar to the pot and toss with the chopped plums to combine.
- Allow the plums and sugar to hang out together for an hour or so to draw out the plum juices and create a syrupy environment in the pot.
- Put the pot on the stove and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the temperature to medium-high and cook, stirring, for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours until the mixture reaches 220 F.
- Meanwhile, sterilize the jars and lids by placing them in a large pot lined with a cloth or tea towel and covering them with water. Place the lid on the pot and bring the water/jars/lids to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the jars to “cook” for 15 minutes. Keep warm until ready to use.
- When your jam is gelled and your jars are sterilized, carefully remove the jars from the water using the tongs (use caution) or a jar lifter (a much safer option).
- Carefully fill each jar leaving a centimetre of air in the top of each jar. Use a metal funnel if you have one. Close very tightly with the lids. (Use a tea towel to hold the jar so you can really get it tight!)
- Carefully lower the jars back into the hot water in the sterilizing pot. Bring the water back to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer/steam the sealed jars for 15 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the simmering water. Double check that the lids are on tight, and set them upside down on a tea towel until cool.
- Slap on a label with the date and store in a cool dry place for the fall and winter.
These tips for success will help keep you safe and ensure you have the best success with your peach ginger jam.
To stir this jam, use a wooden spoon with a long handle. The jam can get quite bubbly as it cooks, and it’s very hot. Using a long handled spoon means you can keep some physical distance from the bubbling mixture.
Keep lots of oven mitts and tea towels handy to help prevent you from burning yourself.
What goes well with this plum and ginger jam?
I love this plum ginger jam on sourdough toast with butter, or stirred into plain yogurt for a sweet snack. It also makes a great filling for any jam-filled cakes or pastries. If you’ve made enough of it, it makes a great gift too.
Jam is one of those foods that gets better with time. It will taste different the day it’s made vs several weeks later. If stored properly, it will develop more plummy and gingery notes and the sugar will be less pronounced.
This jam is best stored in a cool dry place, like a cellar or a basement. If you (like me) don’t have a cellar or basement, use the bottom shelf of your linen cabinet or kitchen pantry. It should last for several months, and even up to a year.
If you think your household will eat this jam within a month or so, there is no need to sterilize jars and make it shelf-stable. Simply pour it into jars and store it in the fridge where it should last for four to six weeks.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to skim the foam off the top of the jam as it cooks?
My mom always skimmed the foam, but I don’t. It is loaded with pectin which helps the jam set. I just stir it in and it dissipates as the jam cooks and thickens.
What if I don’t like ginger. Do I have to use it?
Not at all. If you don’t like ginger, simply omit it. If you want some other spices feel free to throw in a cinnamon stick or a few star anise to give this jam a little twist of your own. (Just make sure you change the name so it doesn’t give people the wrong impression 😅).
Don’t I have to use brand new jar lids so they seal properly?
This one is definitely up for debate. I’ve used the same jars and lids over and over again (such as recycled store-bought jam and mustard jars), and they seal just fine 2 or 3 times, or until the rubber seal starts to look visibly worn out. This is the way I do it when I’m making jams and chutneys for my own home use. However, use this approach at your own risk. And If you are making this jam for sale, or to give as gifts, use brand new lids just to be sure. I found this article that breaks down the health and safety risks of recycling lids for canning.
How do I know if the jars have sealed properly?
The jars are sealed when the lids pop. That means when you push down on the centre of the lid, there is no give to it. If your lid springs back when you press down on it, it’s not sealed yet. After boiling, the lids will start sealing shut right away. If a few hours later your lids are still not sealed, repeat the boiling process.
How do I know if my jam has gone bad?
Does your jam have any visible signs of spoilage? Things like mould and bacteria growth often appear on the surface of the jam if it has gone bad. If you see visible signs, chuck it. Other signs of spoilage are if your jam has an alcoholic or fermented smell, or just smells downright bad—mouldy, musty or rotten, it’s bad.
If you like this plum ginger jam but you’re still looking for ways to use up a lot of fruit, here are some other fruity recipes to help you out:
I hope this jam works out well for you! If you have any questions I haven’t answered here, reach out to me on Instagram @howtomakedinner and I’ll answer them there. Happy jamming!