Damson Jam Recipe No Pectin

Small batch plum jam without pectin photographed in a glass jar.

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5 from 2 reviews

Homemade damson plum jam without pectin.


  • 2 lbs/1 kilo plums (we use damson plums)
  • 1,5 lbs/650g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Cut the plums in four or eight depending on how chunky you like your jam. Remove the stones. Put the plum slices in a large pot.
  2. Pour sugar over the slices. Let them sit covered for 7-8 hours or overnight so that they release their juice. 
  3. Place the pot over medium heat and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. When it is hot enough, add in butter before it starts to boil. Bring it to a full rolling boil and reduce the heat. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes, again stirring occasionally. If you see any foams, skim it with a spoon.
  4. Now check the consistency of the jam: Drop a little jam into very cold water in a glass. If it doesn’t get mixed with water and reaches the bottom of the glass, it has the right consistency. 
  5. Add in lemon juice now and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. 
  6. If you are planning to keep it for a long time: Transfer the hot jam in sterilized hot jars using a ladle and a funnel. Screw on the lid. Turn the jar upside down and let it sit until it cools completely. Store it in a dark place for months.
  7. If you are planning to consume it in a short time: Let the jam in the pot cool completely. Then put it in a jar and keep it covered. It is better to consume it within 1-2 weeks.


  1. We don’t peel the plums, just cut them into thick slices. We keep it chunky. If you want, you can mash some of it with a potato masher or food mill when it is simmering.
  2. If you don’t want to wait for 7-8 hours or overnight, pour ¼ cup of water over plum slices and sugar. Bring it to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. 
  3. It might be easier to use a wooden spoon when stirring the simmering jam in the pot. Metal spoon gets hot when stirring the jam and might burn your hand.
  4. To sterilize the jars: Heat the oven at 275F/140C. Wash your jars in soapy water. Rinse them very well and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet without drying. Put them in the oven and heat for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, sterilize the lids in boiling water for 20 minutes and drain.
  5. Don’t pour hot jam into cold jars. It might cause the jar to crack. 
  6. After heating the jars in the oven, you can turn it off and let your jars sit in the oven with the door closed until your jam is ready.
  7. Be careful when pouring the hot jam into hot jars. You can use oven gloves or kitchen towel to hold the hot jars.
  8. Using small jars is better. Keep it in the refrigerator once opened.
  9. Make sure you use a dry spoon when taking out some jam from the jar. If it is wet, your jam will go bad in a short time.
  10. Makes 4-5x250ml (8.5 oz) jars