Burgundy Plum and Ginger Jam

Source: Joyce Goldstein, Jam Session

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This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on August 18, 2018. Adapted with permission from Jam Session: A Fruit-Preserving Handbook by Joyce Goldstein (Lorena Jones Books, 2018). Photo by Ed Anderson.

Makes 8 half pint jars


5 pounds Burgundy plums
12-16 ounces ginger
8 cups granulated sugar
Juice of 2 lemons, plus more as needed
1 cup prune juice (optional)


Place 3 or 4 small plates in the freezer. 

Halve, pit, and cut the plums into ½ inch dice. You will have about 10 cups.

Peel ginger and slice thinly. Grind the ginger in a food processor. You will need about 1 cup of ginger purée. 

In a large preserving pot, gently combine the plums, sugar, ginger purée, and lemon juice, and toss to mix. Let sit overnight to macerate (if you don’t have time to macerate, then add the prune juice along with the lemon juice). The next day, if the plums have not released much liquid, add the prune juice. 

Place a baking sheet on the counter near your stove. Heat a kettle of water. Set two stockpots on the stove and fill them with enough heated water to cover the jars by 1-2 inches. Bring the water to a boil in the pots over medium-high heat. Sterilize the jars in the water bath by heating for 10 minutes.

Bring the jam ingredients to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the jam thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Taste and add a squeeze more lemon juice if needed. 

Do a plate test by dropping a spoonful of hot preserves on one of the frozen plates and turning the plate so it is vertical to the ground for a second or two. If the preserve is finished, the spoonful will not run much and, after a few minutes back in the freezer, will set up semi-firmly if the preserve is ready for jarring. The jam should be a soft but slightly runny set. Watch closely because this jam sets up really thick, even if it tests sort of runny. Opt for a looser set. Remove the pot from the heat.

Bring the water bath back to a boil. If the jars have cooled, warm them in the water bath or in a 200°F oven. Simmer the lids in a saucepan of hot water. 

Place the jars on the baking sheet. Ladle the jam into the jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe the rims clean and set the lids on the mouths of the jars. Twist on the rings.

Using a jar lifter, transfer the jars from the pots to the baking sheet and let sit for at least 6 hours, until cool enough to handle. Check to be sure the jars have sealed. Label and store the sealed jam for 6 months to 2 years. Once open, store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

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