My favorite local farm stand had beautiful Italian plums recently. I wasn’t sure how I’d use them, but I bought a whole bag just the same.
I decided to make homemade plum jam, but I didn’t want use a lot of sugar. It was just my luck that Kristen from the POM Wonderful company recently sent me some samples of their juice. Health benefits aside, the juice is truly delicious. And with the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah) coming up, I figured it would be great to use pomegranate juice in the jam recipe and then have the finished product for my holiday cooking.
Pomegranates are one of the earliest known cultivated fruits and they are culturally important to many groups around they world. They have played a prominent role in Rosh Hashanah celebrations since ancient times, as they are typically harvested in the late summer/early fall, when Rosh Hashanah takes place. Pomegranates are considered a symbol of sweetness, fertility and abundance.
Pomegranates are fun to eat and I love adding pomegranate seeds (“arils”) to fall salads and other dishes. Pomegranate juice is even easier to use in recipes, though. It is very very high in healthy anti-oxidants and it quite naturally sweet. Using it in this homemade jam recipe allows you to add very little sugar compared to the sugar called for in many jam recipes.
I was happy to have great success on the first go with this pectin-free, low-sugar jam recipe (this is not always the case when I try something new!). It is tangy and very plum-y, perfectly (but not overly) sweet, and it’s delicious spooned over plain yogurt or cottage cheese. It is also great on toast…
…or used in in other recipes that call for jam. I made rugelach, traditional Eastern European Jewish cookies, filled with this jam for the Jewish New Year:
I did not peel the plums, and I don’t think you have to, though feel free to do so if you prefer.
Pomegranate Plum Jam Recipe
Makes about 3 cups
10 plums, preferably the Italian prune variety, pitted and roughly chopped
1 cup pomegranate juice (I used Pom Wonderful brand)
juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup organic sugar
Place chopped plums and pomegranate juice in a heavy saucepan and turn heat on high. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the sugar and mix well.
Allow to cook for about thirty minutes, stirring occasionally to break up any large chunks of the fruit. As it cooks, the jam should become nice and thick. Without burning your tongue, taste a bit to make sure it is sweet enough for you. If not, add up to 1/4 cup more sugar.
When it is sufficiently thick and sweet to your liking, take your jam off the heat and allow it to cool before spooning into jar(s).
If you have lots and lots plums, you will want to scale the plum jam recipe up to suit your needs, and you will probably want to can some of it for longer storage. If so, you may proceed accordingly for canning. If you are not planning to can the jam, I would place what you will eat in the next month or two in the refrigerator and freeze the rest.