Victoria Plum Jam



2lb (900g) Victoria Plums

1½lb (700g) granulated sugar

Juice of ½ lemon

½ oz (10g) butter

Clean jam jars

Waxed circles or cling film


  • Wash and halve the plums, removing the stones.
  • Put three small plates into the freezer – these are for testing whether the jam is set.
  • Put them into a preserving pan or very large saucepan with a little water (enough to cover the base of the pan to prevent the plums from burning as they cook – the water will evaporate as the plums release juice) and cook on a low to medium heat until the fruit is soft.
  • Give the pan a shake from time to time, but only give very gentle stirs, as you want to try very hard not to break up the fruit.
  • Either put the sugar into a heat proof bowl and warm it in the oven – along with the clean jam jars (to sterilise them), or use the microwave. Heat the sugar in the microwave for about 3 minutes and the same with the jam jars (NOT the lids as they are metal!). If you use the microwave, you will need to microwave the sugar separately to the jars.
  • It is not essential to warm the sugar, but it definitely helps it to dissolve faster when it is added to the plums.
  • When the plums are soft, add the sugar to the pan.
  • To check if the sugar is dissolved, lift up the spoon and, if there are no little crystals of sugar visible on it, the mixture is ready for boiling.
  • Now turn the heat up to its highest setting, add the lemon juice and as soon as the mixture is up to what old-fashioned cooks used to call a rolling boil, put the timer on for 8 minutes exactly.
  • Then, when the 8 minutes are up, remove the mixture from the heat, put a teaspoonful on to one of the chilled plates, allow it to cool, then push the mixture with your little finger. If a crinkly skin has formed on the jam and there is no liquid left, then the preserve is set. If it is not set, boil for a bit longer.
  • Allow the jam to settle in the pan for 15 minutes, adding a small piece of butter if there’s any scum, then pour into jars that have been washed, dried and heated in a moderate oven for 5 minutes to sterilise.
  • Seal immediately with waxed discs or a double layer of cling film, then cover with the lids.
  • When the jam is completely cold, clean and label the jars.
  • This has been tried by a lady called Trina and she reports that the recipe provides 3 standard jam jars with a little over.

13 thoughts on “Victoria Plum Jam

  1. Great recipe – thanks for sharing. Other recipes I’ve seen looked way too sweet and so it proved. My victorias were quite ripe so I cut the sugar slightly and added an extra squeeze of lemon, set and taste were perfect.


  2. Dear Ladies,
    Thank you for this recipe. I have just made a double amount and it has come out very well. Lovely colour and texture. Here in Australia it is the beginning of Autumn and a busy time for jam making in preparation for winter. Thanks again and all the best to you all and your Institute.


    • Dear Lorraine
      Thank you for your comments. It is lovely to know that our recipe is being made and enjoyed on the other side of the world! Best wishes to you too


    • Hi Shiralee, yes I agree but I don’t know the answer! If you make the jam and let me know how many jars it makes, I will be happy to update the recipe. thanks Kate (website admin)


      • I got three regular sized jam jars out of it with a little left over. My first batch was a disaster. Burnt the pan and wouldn’t set. Think I cooked it too high. Trying another batch tomorrow. Hopefully my jam will set in the fridge overnight. (My first attempt at jam making).


  3. I am a novice jam maker and thought a WI recipe would be foolproof. I came a cropper on the “add a LITTLE water” part. I had 4 times as many plums (2.8kg) as this recipe, so the water quantity had me scratching my head. I googled another plum jam recipe and followed their advice – added 300ml. I ended up with plum soup!! Had to boil it for ages. It would be really helpful for beginners like me to state exactly how much water is a little. Many thanks!


    • Sorry you had a problem with that wording Elaine. In fact ‘a little water’ is correct as it is just enough to cover the base of the pan while the plums are heating. This will stop them burning and as the water evaporates it will be replaced by the plum juice which will then stop any burning. I have updated the recipe with a comment to that effect – hope that helps.


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