18. October 2023

Tipsy spicy plum jam – keep it away from the kids!

plums being cooked to make jam

Spicy plum jam – a naughty but nice seasonal treat that will have your toast begging for more!


The days are cooler, the evenings are drawing in, and the late summer fruits are weighing down the trees and jostling for space on the supermarket shelf. This spicy plum jam recipe with a shot of rum has been a firm autumn favourite in our house for several years. In fact, my partner loves it so much, I’ve been forbidden from giving any of it away!

What are you waiting for? Get those apron strings tied and let’s get to work…


Tipsy spicy plum jam at a glance:

  • Makes 3-4 jars of jam
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Prep time: 3 hours
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes


  • 1kg of ripe damsel plums (weight with stones)
  • 650g jam sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 cloves/ ½ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 3 tbsp rum


  • Large saucepan
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Sieve spoon
  • Ladle
  • Two small plates
  • 3-4 medium-sized jam jars

How to make tipsy spicy plum jam:

  • Place the two plates in the freezer to cool.
  • Remove stones from the fruit and chop into quarters.
  • Place half of the chopped fruit into a mixer with the lemon juice and blend until smooth.
  • Place the purée into the mixing bowl with the rest of the fruit, the spices and the sugar and stir well.
  • Cover the mix and leave to cool in the refrigerator for a couple of hours (overnight if desired).
  • Just before you want to cook the jam, heat the oven to 140°C. Wash the jars thoroughly in soapy water but don’t dry them. Place the clean, wet jars in the oven to sterilise. Place the lids in a bowl of boiling water.
  • Pour the refrigerated jam mix into the large saucepan and slowly bring to the boil.
  • Boil quickly for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with the wooden spoon and skimming off any scum which forms on top of the mixture as you go using the sieve spoon.
  • After 10 minutes, test the jam for setting by placing a teaspoon of the mix on one of the chilled plates from the freezer and letting it cool (see below for tips on how to do this). If the jam blob wrinkles when you press on it lightly with your finger, the jam is ready. If the jam has not yet reached setting point, repeat the test every couple of minutes until the jam is ready.
  • Use the ladle to fill the jars with the jam mix and screw on the lids firmly.

Good to know!

  • This recipe will give you a spicy plum jam with a fairly soft set – ideal for slathering on fresh bread or a scone! If you want a thicker set, add more jam sugar; up to 800g.
  • Kept in a cool, dry space, this jam will keep for around 6 months.
  • Jars should remain in the oven for 10 minutes to sterilise. If you place them in the oven just before you start cooking the jam, they should be well sterilised by the time the jam is ready.
  • When testing for setting point, pop the cooled plate with the “test blob” in the fridge. This cools the test blob quicker so you can complete the test more efficiently.


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My foolproof rhubarb and vanilla jam recipe

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Recipe for rosehip syrup


Photo: oleghz on Envato Elements