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Plum Preserves

Plum preserves are a delicious heritage recipe you can make each fall with only two ingredients!
Print Recipe
Prep Time:5 mins
Cook Time:30 mins
Processing Time:15 mins
Total Time:50 mins


  • 2.5 lbs Plums pitted and sliced
  • 4 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Water


  • Slice plums in half to expose the pit.
    Slice plums to remove pits
  • Carefully remove the pits, then chop plums.
    Cut plums in half to remove pits
  • Optional: If you need time to sanitize your jars, I like to let my fruit sit in the sugar for a bit. Otherwise, skip to the next step.
    Adding sugar for plum preserves
  • Combine all ingredients into a large pot, and slowly bring to a boil. Stir constantly.
    Cooking plum preserves
  • While the plums are cooking, prepare the lids in a warm (not hot) water bath. Lids should reach 180°F for 10 minutes before use.
  • Once sugar is dissolved, cook the plums rapidly until just before the gelling point. This will take approximately 20-30 minutes. Continue stirring to prevent the plums from sticking and burning.
    Boiling plum preserves
  • The fruit will break down significantly during this cooking time. I quartered my plums, and ended up with bite-sized pieces after boiling.
    Making plum preserves
  • Optional: If you prefer even smaller chunks of fruit than what you end up with after cooking the necessary time, you may want to process the plums with an immersion blender.
    Blend plums with an immersion blender
  • Remove from heat, and immediately spoon the preserves into the hot jars.
    Ladle preserves into hot jars
  • Leave 1/4 inch headspace, and add lid and band. Process jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes, then carefully remove jars and place on a towel. Leave jars undisturbed for 24 hours.
    Add lids to canning jars
  • After 24 hours, confirm the seal of the lid by pressing the middle to make sure it does not pop. Adjust bands, add labels, and store for future use.


  1. When properly canned, your jars can be stored safely (in a cool, dark place between 50-70°F) for up to one year
  2. This recipe usually yields about 6 half-pints for me, but make sure to have a few extra jars/lids ready--just in case.
  3. The actual cooking time will vary based on many factors including the size of your pot, intensity of flame, elevation, and humidity levels on the day you prepare the recipe. Always perform a gelling test to make sure your preserves are ready for canning.
  4. Never double the recipe--this will prevent the preserves from properly gelling.
  5. Make sure to weigh your plums after pitting for an accurate measurement.
  6. Use organic sugar to ensure your preserves are vegan. This is my favorite.
Servings: 6 half-pints