Confettura di Prugne {Plum Jam}

Post image for Confettura di Prugne {Plum Jam}

I have a giving tree.

It’s the plum tree in my side yard, the one I pass every day as I back out of and pull into the garage; the one with overgrown branches that I have to duck under every time I open the gate to take the dog for a walk; the one that was awkwardly pruned a few seasons back and remains lopsided because of it.

The tree has produced fruit almost every summer since we moved here more than 7 years ago. But for some reason (certainly no thanks to me) it has been especially generous this year, its branches laden with hundreds of dusky rose fruits. I’ve done nothing to encourage this proliferation; I haven’t fertilized and I haven’t sprayed. And, indeed, the plums are not large—some are as small as cherries—and many of them have imperfections.

But they are sweet, and their flesh is a spectacular saturated ruby color (I think they are Santa Rosas, but I’m not entirely sure). And they keep appearing, ripe and ready to pick, in spite of being under constant siege by birds and squirrels (and, occasionally, 15-year-old boys). I’m grateful for this tree, which throws its lopsided branches out over our yard, giving us blossoms in spring, and shade and privacy—and plums—in summer.

 I did not want the plums that I picked to go to waste so I made jam, and I’d like to share the recipe with you. It’a a simple one. Plums are high in pectin so the jam sets easily, and because their skins are thin there is no need to peel them. The jam is sweet, but not too sweet, with lots of tart plum flavor, plus a good hit of citrus thanks to the addition of chopped up lemon peel. You can toss in a handful or two of blueberries if you like, which deepens the color and rounds out the fruit flavor.

Happy Summer!

Makes 3 (1/2-pint) jars

Confettura di Prugne {Plum Jam}

Spread this deliciously tart jam on toast or scones; or use it as a filling for a jam crostata. You can use any variety of plums that you like. In fall, I use the small purple Italian prune plums.


  • 2 pounds Santa Rosa or other red-fleshed plums
  • 2 to 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • Peel from 1 small lemon, coarsely chopped
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 small lemon


Cut the plums in half and remove the pits. Cut each half into 4 pieces so that you have small chunks. Put the cut-up plums in a large bowl. Add the sugar, lemon peel, and lemon juice and mix well. Let the plums stand at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.

Have ready 3 half-pint sterilized jars and their rings and lids. Place 2 or 3 small bowls or plates in the freezer (you will use these to test the jelling point of the jam).

Pour the plum mixture into a large, heavy-bottomed non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce the heat to medium, and cook at a lively simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the mixture has darkened and begun to thicken. Remove one of the small bowls or plates from the freezer and spoon a small amount of jam onto it. Return the plate to the freezer for 2 minutes. To test if the jam is done, nudge the mound of jam gently with your finger; it should wrinkle slightly and feel thick. Tilt the plate. The jam should be thick enough that it moves slowly; if it seems runny, it is not quite ready and you should continue to cook the jam for another couple of minutes before testing once more.

Ladle the hot jam into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims clean if necessary with a clean, damp cloth, and screw the lids on the jars. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove the jars and set them upright on a clean kitchen towel. Within a couple of minutes you should hear the jar lids "ping" signifying that they have sealed properly.* Let the jars cool to room temperature before storing in a cool, dark place. They will keep for up to a year.

* If a jar has failed to seal properly, simply store it in the refrigerator, where it will last for at least 1 month.

Copyright 2012 Domenica Marchetti

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32 Responses to Confettura di Prugne {Plum Jam}

  1. Frank June 18, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    You’re very lucky, indeed! A fruit tree is a wonderful thing. We had two peach trees back in Rome that gave us the most lusicous peaches I’ve ever tasted.

    • Domenica June 20, 2012 at 8:15 am #

      Frank, believe it or not, I also have a little peach tree in my yard, right beside the driveway. However, it is not thriving at all, and may have to come down. Every year it does its best to produce a few peaches, but they never make it to the ripe stage. Either they fall off or the birds get them. I don’t know a thing about cultivating fruit trees. Maybe it’s time to start researching…

  2. Adri Barr June 18, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    What a lovely post on Mother Nature’s gifts. It is a wonder that a tree left to itself can be a source of such great bounty. I am forever amazed by the quantity of fruit a tree can produce – I love it when I go outside with a bowl to hold the fruit I plan to collect and quickly realize I need another, much larger bowl. Your photographs are so perfect for the subject, and I bet your jam is delicious. Thank you for your latest bit of inspiration.

    • Domenica June 20, 2012 at 8:16 am #

      Thank you for reading, Adri. I have to wonder how long my luck will hold out…I feel a little guilty about not taking better care of that tree.

  3. mary June 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    A plum tree. I’m so envious. How amazing, especially considering it’s labor free.

    • Domenica June 20, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      Mary, it seems too good to be true, doesn’t it? And it probably is. I have a feeling the tree’s generosity will only go so far if I continue to be so laissez-faire about it.

  4. ciaochowlinda June 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Oh I can just imagine sitting down to a slice of rugged toast, smeared with a good butter and some of this delicious jam. Or a piece of crostata filled with this lusciousness. How great that you get to share this with the birds and still have enough for you.

    • Domenica June 20, 2012 at 8:22 am #

      Linda–right after I wrote this post the birds and squirrels took over. I’m glad I got out there when I did!

  5. elisa June 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    I would love to eat this jam just out of the jar!!! The photo is so beautiful, makes me want to make a fruit tart or a clafoutis. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Domenica June 20, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      Thank you, Elisa.

  6. Betty Ann @Mango_Queen June 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Wow! What gorgeous photos! I love this recipe. It has all-natural ingredients. I must try this, it’s a great summer project. Thanks for sharing, Domenica! Hope you’re enjoying summer 🙂

    • Domenica June 20, 2012 at 8:24 am #

      Thanks Betty Ann. I hope you are enjoying summer as well. I feel like it’s going to fly by, like it always does…

  7. LiztheChef June 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    Lovely recipe and, yes, those look like Santa Rosa plums…

    • Domenica June 20, 2012 at 8:24 am #

      Thanks Liz! You probably have wonderful Santa Rosa plums where you live. I’d love to know what you make with them…

  8. Deb June 19, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    Your post brought back childhood memeories. My mom would make jam from our over productive plum tree. Easy year we grew bored of all those plums. She would bag up plums to give away, and yet there still was too much fruit. But now I miss the abundance of those summer treats. I am envious of your luscious plum jam! I know how scrumptious it must be!

    • Domenica June 20, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      Welcome, Deb, and thanks for your comment. How our perspective shifts with the years!

  9. Marnely Rodriguez June 19, 2012 at 11:17 pm #

    A plum tree?! So jealous, but thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • Domenica June 20, 2012 at 9:34 am #

      Thanks for reading, Nelly 🙂

  10. Anne July 8, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Great recipe!! I just tried it with a kilo of plums and it works perfectly. HHhhhmm so tasty and delicious!!!Thank you!!

    • Domenica July 8, 2012 at 11:42 am #

      Hi Anne,
      Thanks for taking the time to write with your feedback. So glad the recipe turned out well for you. I still have a couple of jars left ~ I think I’m going to turn one of them into a plum crostata. Cheers, D

  11. Coco July 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Ooh, can you bring a jar to Michigan with you? If I remember, I will bring some raspberry and strawberry jam from last season…..

    • Domenica August 2, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      I’m packing it right now, Coco. See you soon xo

  12. sumedha November 12, 2012 at 10:36 pm #

    i tried the plum jam and it is extremely tasty.

    • Domenica Marchetti July 8, 2013 at 11:12 am #

      A belated thank you!

  13. MyGardenAtDawn July 7, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Domenica, thank you for this recipe! I love how uncomplicated and flavorful this jam is, and I appreciate the simplicity of the steps. My plum tree had a lot of fruit this year, and I had very little time to preserve the plums. The jam turned out beautifully. I froze the jam instead of canning, but it seems to be freezing well. By the way, I think the lopsidedness of your tree makes it that much prettier. I have a lovely Japanese maple in my yard that has that “I survived a hurricane” look, and I love the character in the trunk of the tree. I’ve tweeted this post on my account (MyGardenAtDawn) so my friends can use this recipe for their plum harvest as well. I hope you have a great summer.

    • Domenica Marchetti July 8, 2013 at 11:15 am #

      Thank you for writing and for the shout-out. You are right ~ crooked trees do seem to have more character than those that are perfectly pruned. I’m glad your jam turned out well, and I like your tip about freezing it. Sometimes it’s just too hot to even think about processing jars in a big pot of boiling water. Freezing is a great alternative. Cheers, D

  14. Mahreen Ali July 10, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Dear Domenica Marchetti,
    Your recipe is simply awesome and quite easy. I am an asian belong to Pakistan. My parent brought plums in a large quantity and they were well enough to be eaten. So we preferred to make jam of those plums and it was I who searched the recipe as we never tried this before. I would really appreciate you for sharing this with us! My mother is also thankful to you for this recipe! God bless you.. Take care and hoping to listen more from you.

    Mahreen Ali.

    • Domenica Marchetti July 10, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

      Mahreen, thank you. It makes me happy to know that my recipe has reached you in Pakistan. Happy summer!

  15. Mindy July 19, 2015 at 4:21 pm #

    I too have a plum tree, left alone and ignored and after 7 years of living here… it produced several hundred pounds of tiny delicious little plums! I have 12 half pints and one pint in the canner now. It’s a little tart, but, we like it that way! I wish I had more time and energy to make even more of this jam. Thankfully it only took me a couple of hours from start to water bath! Thanks for this post!

    • Domenica Marchetti July 23, 2015 at 8:47 am #

      My pleasure! My plum tree has not been as prolific since I wrote this post. I need to have it properly pruned. Glad to know you enjoyed the jam!


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