Creating a Life of Plenty

Accidental Plum Butter


Plum Butter Process


I had every intention of making Alsatian (Mirabella) plum Jam, really I did!  My friend and neighbor Don has a plum tree that has gotten out of control.  I asked him recently if I could come over and relieve him of a bushel of plums and he graciously allowed me to come over and pick them.  I took them home and allowed them to ripen slowly in my extra refrigerator before processing.  I followed my recipe completely, but my jam refused to gel.  I don’t think the plums had enough pectin in them.  I don’t like powdered pectin and I had already cooked the jam enough so I couldn’t add green apples for pectin so what did I do?  I made plum butter.  I simply cooked down the jam a bit more, used my immersion blender to break up the flesh and cooked it until it had the consistency of apple butter.  The finished product is a bit tart so it probably won’t be something I spread on toast, but it makes a marvelous condiment for meat as well as creamy cheeses so success none the less.  If you want to try my accidental plum jam recipe, here it is…


3 pounds firm plums, peeled and cut into eighths, seeds discarded

1/2 cup red Alsatian wine (or pinot noir)

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Zest of one lemon

4-1/2 cups sugar

3 teaspoons cinnamon powder

1 (3-ounce) package commercial pectin (if you want to make jam as intended, otherwise omit)


Place plums, water, and lemon juice in a large non-reactive stockpot. Stirring often, bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft. You should end up with about 4-1/2 cups.

Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Return heat to high and bring back to a rolling boil while constantly stirring. Add pectin and return to a boil while stirring. Continue to stir and boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Let rest for 1 minute, then skim off any foam.

Stop here and test for setting if you are making jam, otherwise continue to cook the product until it resembles apple butter.


Pour even amounts into sterilized jars, leaving 1/8-inch of space at the top. Wipe rims and seal with sterilized lids. Process in boiling water for 5 minutes. Remove, let cool, and label jars. Store plum jam in a cool, dry place.


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