How to preserve plums the easy way

plums on a tree
plums on a tree

The juicy, sweet fruits can be easily preserved by preserving them. Here you will find tips and tricks for preserving plums.

Depending on the variety, plums ripen between July and October. If you have a plum tree in your garden, you’ll be happy to have plenty of fruit at this time and to have the opportunity to preserve them. But also plums from the weekly market or from the store can be preserved for consumption in the cold season. For example, you can make delicious jam and compote from the stone fruit. Or you can preserve plums by boiling them with sugar and spices before putting them into sterile jars while they are still hot. An even simpler method of conservation is to preserve fruit. If you want to preserve plums, layer them halved and raw in clean jars, then heat them in a water bath. This kills germs while the lids seal airtight.

How to preserve plums?

If you want to preserve damsons, or plums, and still enjoy them months later, there are a few rules to follow. First, jars used, screw-top jars or jars for preserving, must be absolutely clean. It is best to boil them with hot boiling water before filling them to sterilize them, i.e. to make them germ-free. The fruit should not have any signs of eating, rotting or bruising. These could cause the taste to suffer and the preserves to spoil more quickly.

Preserving plums with sugar water

For the classic version of preserved plums, first boil up sugar water and pour it over the fruit. The more ripe the fruit is when processed, the less sugar is needed and the more intense the natural flavor.

Recipe for preserving plums

Ingredients for 6 preserving jars of 250 ml each

  • 1 l water
  • 1 kg fresh plums
  • 300 g brown sugar (or rock candy)
  • 1 cinnamon stick


Bring the sugar and cinnamon to the boil with water and boil for about five minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then remove the sugar water from the heat and let it cool down to room temperature. Meanwhile, wash the plums thoroughly, cut them in half and pit them. Layer the fruit halves tightly in the jars with the cut side down, leaving one to two inches to the top. Pour the sugar water over the plums so that they are completely covered. Now place the tightly sealed jars in a large pot and fill with water so that they are halfway in. Boil the plums in the jar for 30 minutes and then let cool.

Instead of water, you can also use red wine to give the compote an even more aromatic note. In addition to cinnamon, spices such as vanilla, star anise or cloves also go well with cooked plums.

Preserving plums dry

Plums can also be boiled down without any liquid, sweeteners or spices. Ripe and soft fruits, which taste aromatic even without other ingredients, are best suited for this. For this method, fill the plum halves to the rim in the prepared jars. Close them tightly and cook the fruit for 30 minutes at 100 °C / 212 °F in a water bath on the stove, in an automatic preserving machine or in the oven.

Preserving plums in the oven

Instead of using an automatic preserving machine or a large pot, you can also preserve fruit in the oven. To do this, place the filled jars, with or without sugar water, in a deep baking dish and pour in water until the jars are covered to a height of about two centimeters. Now place the jars in the oven at 80 to 100 °C / 176 to 212 °F for about 30 minutes. Then turn off the temperature and let the jars cool completely.

How long can preserved plums be eaten?

Properly preserved plums can be kept for ten to twelve months. It is best to store the jars in a dark, cool place. Preserved damsons and plums taste wonderful with pastries such as tubular noodles or pancakes and with warm desserts such as rice pudding. But the preserved fruit is also a delight cold. For example, try the plums with cake, yogurt, semolina pudding or vanilla ice cream.

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