Christmas Foodie No. 2: Plum Cardamom Jam

Christmas Foodie No. 2: Plum Cardamom Jam

Before I had ever made plum jam, I thought it was hard.  That was way back when I assumed that if a product was something people routinely bought prepared at the store, it must be hard to do.


Then I saw this recipe for raspberry basil jam in an issue of O Magazine.  It looked easy enough, so I tried it.  WOAH!  Not only was it easy, it was incredibly delicious, too.  In fact, it was way better than anything I had ever bought at a store.

Once I learned that water bath canning wasn’t that hard, either, it was all over.  No longer constrained by lack of space in my freezer, I could start making all sorts of jams.  Last year I made two kinds of jam, and since then, it’s just exploded.

It’s a good thing that plum jam makes good gifts, or my family and I might be living off the stuff all winter.

My most recent batch came about because of the roughly 10 pounds of Italian plums Butter and I rescued from a tree overhanging the road in Lyons.  Let me just tell you that even when you split that kind of bounty in half, five pounds is a LOT of plums to be dealing with.

I made some baby food, but unless I expected her to be eating pureed plums until she’s 12, I needed another plan.  I ended up dividing the remaining plums and making two batches of jam: one plum vanilla and one plum with ginger and cardamom.  And they both turned out delicious!

Plum Cardamom Jam

Plum Cardamom Jam


  • 4 pints prepared plums (washed, pitted, and roughly chopped)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • "no sugar needed" or "low sugar" pectin


  1. Sterilize your jars and lids.
  2. Sprinkle cut fruit with lemon juice.
  3. Mix the pectin packet with about 1/4 cup of the sugar and then stir into the plums.
  4. In a large pot, bring the fruit and pectin mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. When the fruit reaches a full boil, add the rest of the sugar and cardamom and stir. Return to a full boil and boil for 1 minute.
  5. Fill jars to within 1/4 inch of the top, clean the rims, and tighten the lids.
  6. Process the jars in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Remove and cool. Inspect the lids; any lids where the safety button is popped up, refrigerate the jars and use first.

The moral of the story is this: it takes less time and effort than you think to whip up a batch of plum jam and preserve it.  If you have a large stock pot, you can do pints, half pints or smaller with no trouble.  And because of all the sugar, jam is one of the easiest and safest things you can learn to can.

So get out there and grab the last of the year’s glut of fruit before it’s all gone and whip up some jams for a beautiful and tasty gift.

Total Price for plum jam: $1.47 each
$2.61 for six cups organic sugar
$0.83 each for five Ball pint jars (new)
~$0.50 for ginger, cardamom, and vanilla extract
~$0.25 for low-sugar pectin
FREE! 5 pounds of plums

Check out the other consumable gifts in this series:

No. 1: Pepper-Infused Vodka
No. 2: Plum Jam
No. 3: Pie in a Jar
No. 4: Sugar and Spice
No. 5: Hot Chocolate on a Stick
No. 6: Gingies
No. 7: Granola 
No. 8: Preserved Lemons 
No. 9: Gingerbread Biscotti
No. 10: Cracker Crack
No. 11: Satsumettes
No. 12: Apricot Nut Bread

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