Plum Jam Recipe with Lavender

by Irvin on July 21, 2014 · 13 comments

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Learning how to make plum jam is easy with this plum jam recipe that uses lavender to give the preserve a gorgeous floral depth.

Plum Jam Recipe with lavender. By Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’ll be honest. I’m not a canning expert. In fact, other than the one experience I had using the oven method (which totally seems safe but apparently a lot of people told me isn’t), I’ve never really done it. But I do make tons of jam when the season hits and usually then frantically eat tons of toast to use it up because I’m too lazy (and slightly scared) to can. Of course this year, for various reasons, I decide to bite the bullet and can my fruit jam so I can enjoy it for the rest of the year. The main reason being my backyard plum tree decided to become insanely prolific this year, like Joyce Carol Oates prolific. This meant I had to learn how to make plum jam, something I’ve done before but never gotten around to canning. Turns out the effort was worth it because now I can enjoy my lavender plum jam for the rest of the year. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

How to make plum jam. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Plums, by the way, happen to make a wonderful jam, something that I never had growing up. Cherry, strawberry, grape and raspberry jams and jellies all appeared in my childhood pantry (well, most my friend’s pantry, we weren’t really a jam sort of family) but plum wasn’t there. If we’re confessing truths, our family was a grocery store jam sort of kind, the ones that always had some forgotten dried out strawberry jam, the cloyingly sweet and neon red type one with the red gingham lid. It was used as often as the dried up brick of brown sugar in the pantry, which means it never really was used at all.

Homemade plum jam with lavender. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

It’s too bad, because if I had known what plum jam tasted like I would have gobbled the stuff up. The plums I used weren’t really jam quality, it’s better to use slightly underripe fruit which has more pectin, or at least a mix of underripe and ripe fruit. But my fruit was so fresh and ripe from the tree that it bursts with juice that dribbles down your arm you bite into it, wonderful to eat but not as much to make jam from. Nevermind, it still made great jam, just slightly less of it, as I had to cook it more to get it to jam thickness. I didn’t mind. The apartment smelled redolent of summertime stone fruit. If I could bottle that scent, I would make a fortune. Instead, I’ll just enjoy this jam year round. I have something like 12 jars of it now.

Plum jams come in all sorts of flavor. If you like this plum jam recipe check out my small batch ginger plum jam which is fast and easy to make, no canning required.

And while you’re at it, check out these other plum jam recipes from around the web:
The Baking Barrister’s Vanilla Santa Rosa Plum Jam
Simple Bites Blueberry and Plum Butter
Love and Olive Oil’s Damson Plum and Gin Jam
Completely Delicious Raspberry Plum Jam
Chez Pim’s Green Gage and Vanilla Plum Jam

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Marisa Franca @ All Our Way July 22, 2014 at 3:38 am

I can see that now you are a canning connoisseur as well as being a gourmand in the boiling water field. I simply love your blog and photos. I always think that I would love to have a fantastic cocktail party and who would I want to invite — they’d have to be funny, very interesting, and not full of themselves — you would definitely be at the top of the list. I mean after all you make boiling water interesting. 🙂 Being very new at this blogdom you are certainly an inspiration — your photos are fantastic and your prose — outstanding.


Irvin July 29, 2014 at 12:23 am

Ha! Thanks Marisa. That boiling water post sure has legs. I wrote it as a joke for April Fools and people still keep on stumbling on to it. Glad that you stuck around and read more of my blog.

And if you ever have a fantastic cocktail party and I’m around, I’d come to it! Sounds like fun.


Joann July 22, 2014 at 9:12 am

Irvin…..OK, that’s exactly what I needed to do this myself!!!! Thank you for trying it, for the inspiration, and for the amazing recipe…

Any suggestions on sourdough bread making? AND, best place/way to get a starter?



Irvin July 29, 2014 at 12:18 am

You know I keep on meaning to write a post about making sourdough starter! Your best bet is to just find someone who has some and ask if they will give you some. But I use a recipe from the Bread Bible by Beth Hensperger. It’s really easy and uses commercial yeast to kick start the fermentation. I’ll try to post about it sometime soon…


nowal July 22, 2014 at 9:38 am

Looks delicious. Plums everywhere in my backyard. I also love to make jam with them and give as gifts as they make a wonderful accompaniment to anyone breakfast table. I flavor mine with rose water, it is divine. Very good slightly stirred in homemade yogurt. Thanks for posting and I really enjoy your blog and your enthusiasm of good food.


Irvin July 29, 2014 at 12:20 am

Thank you! The addition of rose water would be fantastic with plum jam. I’ll have to give that a try next time. I think I have some rose water in my cupboard that I rarely use…


Christine at Cook the Story July 23, 2014 at 6:39 am

I love the addition of lavender to this jam. It sounds wonderful.


Gerry @ Foodness Gracious July 23, 2014 at 11:24 pm

I can relate to canning fears. I always think something will explode and glass and jam will be everywhere! Lavender plum sound delicious.


merredith August 4, 2014 at 3:51 pm

My mom used to can, she’d make strawberry jam, crab apple jelly, pickles, pickeled water melon rind, copley plaza relish… i don’t know that she does it much anymore. those she made tasted SO much better than the store kind. but really i never know what to do with jam/jelly. how much toast can you eat?? this looks super yummy i like plum jam (even if i do get it from the store).


Sarah @ SnixyKitchen August 12, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Wow – this jam has my name on it. I’ve become a lavender fiend this summer and I’ve always been crazy for plums. My parents have a plum tree that, for reasons unbeknownst to them, has been producing plums with the texture of nectarines (and because of their texture, my dad refuses to eat them ha). I bet they’d be the perfect texture for this jam. Passing the recipe along in hopes my mom brings a few jars when she next visits;)


Bonnie Williamson September 4, 2014 at 10:38 pm

I only have Italian Plums. Will they work with this recipe?


Irvin September 8, 2014 at 2:45 pm

They should! I think Italian Plums are lovely and have a lower water content than other plums. So you should get a beautiful jam out of them. Come back and let me know how they turn out if you do make this recipe with them!


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