Homemade Plum Jelly

What are we doing today?

Making plum jelly, Kitty.

Whoa, whoa, whoa….hold on there. The last time we tried that it didn’t come out. Remember the attempt at Wild Plum Jelly?

Yes, I know Kitty. But this time we have a good recipe, and good advice from our fellow bloggers, and some beautiful ripe plums from the store.

Oh ok, let’s go for it.

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5 pounds ripe plums

7 cups of sugar

1 package powdered pectin

Yield: 5 pints jelly

First, cut the plums into chunks.

Kitty supervised.

Measure the cup up plums, and then put in a large pot. Then add 1 cup of water per quart of plums. I had 3 quarts plums, so I added 3 cups water.

Put a lid on the pot, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes until fruit is soft and mushy, stirring occasionally. Keep the lid on between stirrings.

Next step is to strain the juice from the plums using several layers of cheesecloth. I draped mine over a colander, and then set the colander over a pot to collect the juice. The cooked plums and juice are poured into the cheesecloth, and allowed to drain until it stops dripping.

I got about 5 1/4 cups plum juice. Pour the juice back into the same pot you cooked the plums in. (rinse pot first)

Put your jars, rings, and lids in a separate large pot, cover with water, and then bring to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes. This will kill the bacteria.

Once boiled, remove pot from heat, and set aside. Don’t drain the water as all the jars, lids and rings need be hot when the jelly is poured into them.

Now, back to the plum juice. Stir the package of pectin into the juice and mix well. Measure out your 7 cups of sugar and set aside.

Bring the juice to a boil over high heat.  Stir in the sugar, and mix well.

Bring back to a rolling boil, and then boil for 1 minute stirring constantly. Adjust heat if it tries to boil over.

Remove from heat, skim off the foam with a spoon, and put a lid on the pot. Remove the jars from the water pot using a canning jar lifter, and place on a clean towel. Keep hot water in pot. Fill jelly jars to within a quarter inch from the rim.

Wipe the rims of the jars clean with a damp washcloth or paper towel. This will ensure a good lid seal.

Remove the lids from the hot water, and place on the jars.

Remove the rings from the hot water and put on the jars. Tighten until just snug. Don’t overdue it.

Using a canning jar lifter, put the jars back into the water pot. Make sure that the lids are just under the surface of the water. Remove excess water if needed. Put only the number of jars into the pot that will fit on the pot bottom, don’t stack them. Put pot back on the stove, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.

In canning terms, this is called a “water bath”. This kills any lingering bacteria. Remove jars from water using the canning jar lifter,

and place on a towel.

Give a water bath to the remaining jars following directions above, and then place those on the towel as well.

The lids will pop, indicating that a good seal has been achieved. You can verify that the jar has sealed by looking along the top of the lid. Before it seals, there is a little rise in the lid center. After it seals, there should be a little indentation in the center. Any jars that have not sealed after they cool need to be refrigerated. Sealed jars do not need to be refrigerated until after they are opened.


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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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51 Responses

  1. Beautiful. That will be so good to enjoy on your toast. Glad you got those cute jars filled. Good think Kitty was there.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Gardener,
      I’ve been wanting to make homemade bread to go with the jelly. Maybe this weekend. Kitty will help with that too, I’m sure.
      Thank you!

  2. Julie says:

    Beautiful! Don’t you just love those cute, squat little jars? Thanks for sharing–I’ve done peach, red raspberry, and strawberry jams, but have yet to delve into jelly territory. Grape is next!

    • Suzanne says:

      I saw the jars in the store, and couldn’t resist. Love that I’m finally able to put jelly in them! Mmm…peach jam, sounds delish!

  3. Vivian says:

    Mmmm! They look yummy. And pretty too. What cute little jelly jars – they would make great Christmas gifts. I like jellies and preserves on biscuits. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Lee Ann L. says:

    Ohhh, this I like! I’ve been examining canning books and recipes; but, have not been brave enough to make some. Well, I did try to make some Strawberry jam once; but, it flopped. Seeing this with all the pictures gives me courage to try again. Thank you ever so much! I know it was a lot of work to do (taking pictures and whatnot). But, you have given this girl here courage! 🙂

    • Suzanne says:

      Oh wonderful Lee Ann, so glad you’re going to give it a try. Reading about canning and making jelly sounds difficult, but it’s really easy. Go for it.

  5. Sharon says:

    Oh this looks so good. I wandered along the property line at work this a.m. and pondered Blackberry Jam. The brambles are loaded this year and they just grow wild. Mabye if I pick them someone else will make the jam?

  6. MamaKoch says:

    You did good! So glad kitty was there to help.
    My guys always hope that one doesn’t seal…just one, so they can eat it right away.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi MamaKoch,
      Yes, Kitty was invaluable as usual. I sometimes have a jar that doesn’t seal too. This time they all sealed and I was so excited.
      Thanks for your help.

  7. LOVE IT! It turned out beautiful. Love the jars 🙂

  8. Hooray! Success with the plum jelly, round 2. I like that they look pretty in those little jars too. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Donna says:

    Gorgeous little jars of jelly- complete success!

  10. kerri says:

    Suzanne, your plum jelly looks wonderful in those cute little jars. I’ll bet it’s delicious.
    I’m happy that it was a success for you after the wild plum failure.
    Kitty looks like she’s such good help 🙂
    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed catching up with your posts. Such wonderful pictures!
    I absolutely loved the pics of the skippers drinking from your bird bath. The close-ups are fantastic.
    Love the sunflowers too. Gorgeous!

    • Suzanne says:

      Thank you Kerri! I was happy when the jelly turned out after the wild plum issue. But, I’ve not given up on the wild plums and will try again next year.
      Thanks for visiting!

  11. Awesome! That looks so delicious! I love the photo where the sunlight is shining through the plum jelly jars! It’s so pretty! Oh, but I also love the photos with Kitty in them…they’re awesome! Now you’ve got me wanting to make plum jelly! You did a great job!

  12. Julie says:

    Good job girlie. I love Kitty in the beginning. I love that silly cat. That picture is priceless. Dont you love those jars? I think they are soooo cute. I got some from my friend for my birthday, cuz we love to can. Way cool. The plum jelly turned out beautiful. Way better than the wild plum phooey huh? I hate when that happens. Im with you though, after a day with the wild plums I would have broke open that bottle of wine….

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Julie,
      Kitty posed quite nicely, the little ham.
      I’ve not given up on the wild plum jelly, and will try again next year.

  13. ooooh love your jeweled toned jelly. Fabulous gifts indeed – your friends are very fortunate

  14. I found your site by way of Pioneer Woman and have enjoyed it this past week. I fell in love with the sunflower post you did. I have made strawberry jam in the past but never jelly, with jam you use all the fruit.
    I was wondering what you did with the boiled plums since you only used the juice?
    I would like to try and make jelly, but need to know what to do with the fruit content I don’t use.
    Thanks and you definitely have a new follower!!
    Love your site.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Lisa,
      Thank you and Welcome! Sounds wasteful, but when I was done with the plum pulp and pits, I thew it away as that is what I’ve always done when making jelly. Not sure if anything could be done with it after the juice is removed.

  15. Doe of Mi. says:

    One little bummer thing about this episode of jelly making–
    sounds like the jelly came out even with the jar space.
    NO SAMPLE to try out? Come on that just can’t happen!!!

  16. P.S. Forgot to mention, I finally made my pear butter! visit my blog to check it out! thanks! 🙂

  17. Tami says:

    Good job! And kudos for giving it a second try. Those finished jars are a thing of beauty!

  18. Teresa says:

    They look so lovely! I’m glad things went better this time.

  19. Debbie says:

    Just want to mention that I change my screensaver picture every 2 or 3 days, and I have used several of your photos!
    I love the pictures of your finished plum jelly with the light shining through them, and just put that up.

    I enjoy seeing the pictures when I come back to my computer, and I love mixing it up with different scenes. I’ve used your pics of horses, sunflowers, cats, flowers, food, etc. Thanks for adding to my pleasure!

  20. Debbie says:

    By the way, I hope that is okay, that I am using some of your pics as screensavers! They do all say ‘Window on the Prarie’ on them, and they are only for my view at home.

  21. Rochelle says:

    Hi, I am new to your blog and just love your small square jars!! I have never seen them before. I have canned tomatoes and salsa, and have made strawberry freezer jam. My sister cans a lot and has made lots of jelly and jam . . . Where in Kansas are you? I grew up west of Wichita but now live in Broken Arrow, OK. My sister lives in Wamego, KS.

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Rochelle,
      I found the jars at Wal-mart. They are Ball jars, so they’re probably sold other places as well. We live in NE Kansas. Been to Wichita many times, and also to Wamego a couple times.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  22. Linda says:

    What beautiful jewel-toned jellies! My mouth is watering.

  23. Cindy says:

    I love the purple colors you get when you can plums. I am not a fan of jellies, so I canned up Asian Plum Sauce this year for topping on potstickers and chicken for BBQing. Cruised here from PW and enjoying your site. I live and blog on a different type of ranch in California. http://dipperanch.blogspot.com

  24. Michelle says:

    Love plum jelly! I’m going to have to make some this winter.
    I usually make Red Hot Cinnamon jelly for Christmas gifts, but I think my friends would appreciate something different this year..

    • Suzanne says:

      Hi Michelle,
      I like giving homemade for Christmas gifts too, when I have the time. Couple years ago I gave away apple butter.

  25. Euni Moore says:

    I found your site yesterday on Chickens in the Road. So glad I dropped by. I live in Colorado and enjoy reading about someone so close to home. The plum jelly is beautiful and will try that when plum season rolls aroumd.

    • Suzanne says:

      Welcome Euni,
      Thanks for stopping by, and hope to see you again. What part of CO are you from? I have a sister who lives in Brighton, north of Denver.
      Take care,

  26. Phyllis says:

    I’m new to canning, can I use the skin and pulp, hate to waste all that good stuff. Using just the juice sounds so wasteful! I love your kitty pictures too, my 3 are spoiled and love every minute of it.

  1. September 13, 2010

    […] Ah, homemade plum jelly. […]

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