Water Bath Canning Plum Jam

Yesterday, my kids and I were invited over to my friend Ellen's house to can fresh plums with her. I had never canned before and while the visit originated as a way for my kids to have a fun experience canning, I ended up being the one who delighted in the process the most. Her plums are out of this world delicious. And we got a little taste of the water bath canning process.

Making and canning jam isn't as hard as it seems. Maybe it was because Ellen patiently walked us (me) through the step by step process. Or maybe it was that she had all the right tools for waterbath canning and everything prepped. Whatever it was, I walked away, wanting to can more!

We picked the plums from Ellen's gorgeous Santa Rosa Plum Tree....So yummy!

She had the jars,the lids, the pectin, sugar, the stock pot, and the jar lifter. We were set!

I was so enthralled with the process that I forgot to take down notes for a tutorial. We cut the fruit, added pectin, boiled it down, adding in sugar, poured it into the jars, sealed them, put them in the boiling water, etc. You can probably find step-by-step instructions at pickyourown.org (although even they make it sound more complicated that it really is.)

Ideas for plum jam:
  • Spread on scones, bagels, and breakfast breads
  • Slather it on pork roast (Ellen's suggestion)
  • Cookie, ice cream and jam parfait
  • I am thinking of using my jam to make this (below) delectable stuffed french toast with plum jam and cream cheese!

I love these printable canning tags from Domestifluff

image via domestifluff

Do you can? What are your resources? I would love to hear about your experience.


  1. I have been "semi-obsessed" with canning lately ~ so it's funny you should post this now! :) I have ALWAYS wanted to learn! I'm getting married in October & registered for the tools needed. I know that once I learn, I'll be a canning fool! :) I can't wait!

    Great job on the plum jam, by the way! That sounds delish!


  2. This looks heavenly.

  3. Looks tasty! I have been thinking about canning... something..lol We have all these jars in the basement ready to use, but have no idea what to do with them ;)

  4. i just started canning two weeks ago - can you say addicting?!

    check out BHG's large canning mag that's out now. LOTS of awesome info to get started. i just did 18 half pints of corn salsa on sunday. (photos + details on my blog)

  5. I canned for the first time last summer when I made pickles from my over-abundance of cucumbers. I can't wait to can more this year.

    For anyone that want to learn how to can, the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving is an excellent resource (you can usually find it at any store selling canning supplies).

  6. Haha, I actually just canned some cinnamon plum jam a couple of weeks ago and just did some vanilla peach yesterday. I love canning, and the best sound in the world? The "Ping" of the lid :)

  7. Katrina1:03 AM

    Love the article I made my first batch of plum jam 7 years ago, over the last few years I've been branching out to strawberry, onion (which I made today and rapidly disappears) jam as favorites, tomato relish is also a new addition.

    We don't have ball in australia our equivalent is fowlers vacola and is an institution. Sally Wise is leading a resurgence... Do a google she has a great blog wight recipes for different preserves and what to do with them.

    Onion jam is great with cheese, red meat and no sooner than I have made a batch as friends appear from nowhere keen for a bottle. Have a go, it's an economical.

    You need 10 slice red onions (I cut them into halves first), 6 cups of brown sugar, either 6 tbspn mustard or a handful of mustard seeds, 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar.

    To make, soften onions over high heat, add remaining ingredients, bring to the boil. Simmer until reduced by half, about 2 hours. Pour into heated jars, seal with clear plastic cover and when cool a lid. No need to water bath (unless you really want to).

    Let us know how you go with your first solo attempt. Public holida here.. So I had my own canning day, in addition to onion jam also made some yummy tomato relish. Hoping to also make strawberry jam later in the week.

    Katrina, Brisbane, Queensland