I really love jam making time, and watching the pantry shelves fill up with jewel-like jars of sweetness.  My Sour Plum Jam recipe is one of my favorites because it’s not overly sweet, as most jams are, and its uses are really versatile. It’s also a great way to use up an overload of the fruit if you or a neighbor are lucky enough to have a plum tree. 


  • 8 cups Italian plums (seeded, and cut into fourths)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water


  Add ingredients into a large stockpot. Cook at medium high heat until boiling.
  Once mixture begins to boil, stir often to ensure ingredients don’t burn. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.
  After 20 minutes, the mixture will have broken down quite a bit. To help it along, stir and mash with a potato masher.
  Cook until the mixture coats a mixing spoon, and reaches a consistency to your liking.
  (It should take a couple of seconds for the jam to drip off the spoon).
  Ladle mixture into clean, hot pint-sized canning jars, leaving a 1/4” headspace. Top with canning lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Makes 2 1/2 pints. (Can 2 pints and refrigerate the remaining 1/2 for immediate use or double the batch to make 5 pints).



Fruit that is slightly under-ripe contains more pectin than ripe fruit.  I recommend using about 1 cup of slightly under-ripe plums.

Don’t use overly ripe fruit.  It will make your jam too runny.

The pectin is concentrated in the skins, so it’s a must that the skins are left on for this jam.

If you are unable to find any slightly under-ripe plums, grate in 1/2 cup of sour apple skins.  They’ll cook down nicely and will work as a great natural thickener.


Serve with scones

Use as a dip for cinnamon donut holes, along with sweetened mascarpone cheese

Use as a filling for your favorite layer cake

Serve with savory pork chops

Fill mini shortbread tarts, available at the market, for an impromptu treat

Make jelly donuts!


Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.