Vanilla Bean Pluot Jam Recipe ~ this easy small batch refrigerator jam is made with flavor packed pluots with a hint of vanilla bean for depth ~ it’s going to become your new favorite!
I had a lot of fun all day yesterday sharing plum recipes on facebook while I made my jam. Plums are so beautiful and so versatile. They come in such a huge array of colors, and I especially love the contrast between their skin and their flesh. I also think they’re the most photogenic fruit out there. If you want a visual treat, just type plums into the searchbar on Pinterest…
I actually used pluots for this jam, which are a cross between a plum and an apricot, combining the best of both. There are lots of different kinds of pluots, but they all have great flavor and a firm texture, which makes them perfect for baking and for jams. Pluots come in a huge array of colors, and the flesh of these Flavorosa pluots is awesome. These photos still didn’t quite capture their flaming fuchsia red color, but you get the idea. Flavorosa is a variety of that happens to have more of the characteristics of plums than apricots.
Pluots are in high season here in LA, but the rest of the country won’t be far behind. These hybrids are hot right now and getting more widely available every year, so look for them at farmer’s markets and at regular supermarkets. The stand I buy these from cuts them all up for tasting so you can see their brilliant colors and pick the one you like best.
This is no frills, simple simple jam making. I just chop the fruit, skin and all, and combine it with sugar and lemon juice in a pot. It bubbles away for about 45 minutes, and then cools in jars before hitting the refrigerator. I make small batches, meant to be consumed within a relatively short time, so no canning process necessary. This is how they do it in Europe.
Most people would peel the pluots before jam making. I see no reason to, since the peels add flavor, color and texture. If you want a smoother jam, peel the fruit with a serrated vegetable peeler. I can’t live without mine for the times when I need to peel soft fruit like plums and peaches, or tomatoes. Plums have lots of natural pectin, too, so you don’t need to add any. The long cooking time also serves to thicken the jam.
This jam isn’t an all day affair that takes over the kitchen and requires bushels of fruit. A small bag of pluots and an hour of your time is all it takes, and what a payoff!
Vanilla Bean Pluot Jam
- 15 pluots (or 1 1/2 lbs, after pitting and chopping)
- 2 cups sugar about 1 lb
- juice of 1/2 a large lemon
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste optional
- Cut the pluots in half, and slice or chop them up. Put the fruit, lemon juice, vanilla bean and sugar in a small heavy bottomed pot. Stir to combine and let sit, covered, for about 30 minutes to let the juices start to release.
- Bring the mixture up to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Let the mixture cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, stirring every once in a while. There will be a lot of foam at first, and it will die down as the jam cooks. Keep the heat high enough so that the fruit boils, but not so high that it scorches.
- After 45 minutes the jam should be dark, glossy, and thick. You can test it by dropping a small amount on a chilled plate. The jam should ‘gel’ as it cools. You should also be able to tell it is done just by looking at it. Remove the vanilla bean and add the vanilla bean paste, if using.
- Fill your jars, cap tightly, and let cool. Then refrigerate.