Homemade Greek Plum Jam Recipe. Simple, Quick and Easy 100% Natural


Plum Crazy Jam By Greeker than the Greeks
Plum Crazy
Homemade Jam
By Greeker than the Greeks
Thirteen years ago, in 2004, I planted a plum stone (pit), against all odds and despite, in its baby stage, having to be nurtured by my son, while I was living it up in Italy, it flourished!

Homegrown Plums
Homegrown
Plums
I’m not sure what type of plum it is, in Greece it is called “Vanillia”, to me it looks like a Victoria plum, but what do I know?

As 2004 was the year the Olympic Games were held in Greece, I named it “Olympic plum”.

My little plum tree grew into a big plum tree, with not much help from me, just plenty of water and lots of Greek sunshine, and after maybe six or seven years produced its first flowers, not many, but oh, my excitement when the flowers became fruit.

Each year, my tree produced more and more plums, not enough to actually do anything with, until last year, a bumper crop I thought, resulting in a couple of crispy plum crumbles and deliciously sticky plum cake.

Sticky Plum Cake
Sticky Plum Cake
Well, compared to this year’s crop of plums, last years, which I was quite happy with, was positively meager.

When the tree blossomed this spring, it was a picture; a cloud of delicate, honey-scented, white flowers which became tiny, hard, green plums, which, as they grew larger, bent the frail branches earthwards under their weight.

Plum Tree in Blossom
Plum Tree in Blossom
We gathered a few bowls of plums, but mostly they were ignored, that is, until one evening, sitting and listening to the “plop” of falling, ripe plums I began to feel guilty, “I must do something with these plums” I thought to myself.

Plums from our tree
Plums from our tree
MGG (My Greek God) was sent up the ladder and we collected twelve kilos of plums, but how much plum crumble can you take?

Plum crumble and ice cream.
Plum crumble and ice cream.

I must think of something else to do with my plums; “Make jam” I was told.

I’ve never made jam before and was under the impression it was difficult and time-consuming and that strange equipment, such as funny thermometers and special pans were needed, and then there was the rigmarole of sterilizing jars.

Time to phone a friend; my friend Sophia, who, with her husband Georgos, run a thriving business;


To filema tis Lelas, in nearby Kiato, produces the most mouthwatering jams, Greek spoon sweets, chutneys and many more fruity concoctions, all one hundred percent natural, check them out them HERE on Facebook.

Sophia and Georgos To filema tis Lelas Kiato, Greece
Sophia and Georgos
To filema tis Lelas
Kiato, Greece

Just a sample of the delicious delights cooked up  by Sophia and Georogos at To filema tis Lelas, Kiato, Greece
Just a sample of the delicious delights cooked up  by Sophia and Georogos
at To filema tis Lelas, Kiato, Greece

Sophia had great faith in me; gave me a simple recipe and patiently explained how I was to go about making the perfect jam.

Recipe for Sophia’s plum jam

Ingredients

Ingredients for Sophia's plum jam.
Ingredients for Sophia's plum jam.

1 kilo plums

700 g Sugar

Juice of half a lemon

200 ml Water

Method

Sterilize jars by heating them in a microwave for a couple of minutes, heating them for twenty minutes in the oven at 100 degrees C, or running them through the dishwasher.

Remove the stones from the plums, cut into small pieces and place in a large pan, along with the sugar, lemon juice and water.

Stir everything together, bring to the boil and lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally.

Remove any foam that forms with a slotted spoon.

Remove any foam that forms
Remove any foam that forms
As the jam begins to thicken, stir continuously to avoid jam sticking to the pan and burning.

After about thirty minutes of cooking, test to see if the jam is ready by dropping a spoonful of the jam onto a plate, gently push it with your finger, a line should form, and remain in the jam, if not, boil for a further five to ten minutes and test again.

Once the jam is ready, immediately pour into hot, dry, sterilized jars.

Pour jam into sterilized jars
Pour jam into sterilized jars
Place the lids on the jars tightly and turn the jars upside down (this helps make the jars airtight) and leave to cool.

Once opened, keep the jam in the fridge.

As I had so many plums (Twelve kilos), I decided to make three kilos of jam at a time, so I trebled the recipe.

Twelve kilos of plums.
Twelve kilos of plums.
Removing the stones from three kilos of plums is no joke, it’s time consuming, MGG and MJGG (My Junior Greek God), were asked to help, which surprisingly, they did quite happily!

MGG lending a helping hand
MGG lending a helping hand

MJGG of Extremers Base getting in on the act
MJGG of Extremers Base getting in on the act
After the stones are removed, the plums need to be cut into small pieces, also time-consuming!

Plums; cut into small pieces!
Plums; cut into small pieces!
At last, I can begin with my jam making, but not before I prepare the jars, I took the easy way out and ran them through the dish washer, timing it to finish at around the same time as the jam would be ready, so the jars would be hot.

I used my largest pan, which really was not large enough, everything fit in, but once the ingredients came to the boil, it began to bubble and spit; everywhere, on me, the walls, the cupboards and even the floor, which became rather sticky underfoot.

Hubble Bubble Toil and Trouble
Hubble Bubble
Toil and Trouble
After about forty minutes of this hubble and bubble, I tested the jam, and yes, a line remained in the dollop on the plate, it was ready.

The jam is ready!
The jam is ready!
I poured the ruby, steaming syrup into the jars, quickly put on the lids, and turned them upside down, just as Sophia had told me to.

Flip jars upside down to help keep them airtight
Flip jars upside down to help keep them airtight

Then I stood back, and proudly surveyed my morning’s work; I had made jam!

Plum Crazy Homemade jam by Greeker than the Greeks! Labels by  Mando Handmade
Plum Crazy
Homemade jam by
Greeker than the Greeks!
Labels by
 Mando Handmade
I waited anxiously for the jam to cool, I was not only eager to taste the fruit of my labours, but also, to see if the jars had sealed properly, if the lids did not bend and give, making a clicking sound, all was well, it meant they were airtight; to my great surprise, and joy, there was no clicking noise when I pressed the center of the lids, and no give; I had done it!

I spread butter onto a slice of fresh, crusty bread and slathered on my jam; lovingly looked at it and took a bite; delicious, I had succeeded, Sophia would be proud of me.

The fruit of my labours
The fruit of my labours


But this is not the end my friends, I still had another nine kilos of plums left, and so, for the next three days, I stoned, chopped and boiled.

 My finger nails became sore from digging out the stones, and because I was using a pan that really wasn't large enough for three kilos of plums, I washed down splattered cupboard doors, walls, and myself, more times than I care to remember.

I produced another six kilos of jam, and on the third day decided to try making Greek spoon sweet with plums; now, I had not asked Sophia about this, so went into it blindly, more or less, I did take a glance at spoon sweet recipes on the internet.

Plums Galore
Plums Galore
Things went awfully wrong with my Greek spoon sweet, the plums, which should have remained in plump halves, turned to a pulp, not one to be defeated, I made plum syrup, or coulis, call it what you will, by boiling up the plums, zapping them (while still in the pan) with a hand blender, and then passing the mixture through a sieve.

Sieving plum syrup
Sieving plum syrup
I bottled the syrup as I did with the jam, in sterilized jars, and shall pour it over Greek yogurt, ice cream, my old-fashioned blancmange and creamy panna cotta, and use to top cheesecake, the next time I make one.

Greek yogurt with plum syrup
Greek yogurt with plum syrup

I don’t know how long it will be before my family become sick at the sight of plum jam, but right now, I am feeling ridiculously proud of myself for making something which turned out to be so simple.

Plum Crazy All my own work; with a lot of help from Sophia
Plum Crazy
All my own work;
with a lot of help from Sophia
I shall take my jam to Sophia, and ask her to give me marks out of ten, and to find out what went wrong with my Greek spoon sweet, although I really already know;

I didn’t have Sophia’s expert advice on how to do it!

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