How To Bottle Plums

It’s time to bottle those plums! This picture is of my Mum, Glenis, with her sterling bottling effort back in the seventies; we had a few acres and part of it was filled with a range of fruit trees, after giving fruit away and swapping for other vegetables there was always a lot left to bottle for a taste of summer during the winter months.

Many of you may already have this recipe as it’s one of our most popular, we’ve seen searches coming in from all over the world at different times of the year for this recipe alone.

If you’ve got a tree laden with plums and don’t want to waste any, this easy great tasting recipe (which is similar to the one Mum used to use) will do the trick.  Triona

Wendyl Nissen’s Recipe For Bottling Plums

First wash your jars, lids and seals. Pop the jars into a 100 degree C oven for half an hour and boil the lids and seals in a pot of water for five minutes. Keep the jars in the oven to keep them hot until you are ready.

Make a light syrup using 3 parts water to 1 part sugar (I used raw sugar)

Bring the sugar and water to the boil and simmer for five minutes.

Wash your plums, leave them whole and pop them into the simmering syrup. Be careful not to over cook them. Just leave them until the skins split a little then start bottling.

While the plums are hot, put them in the hot jars and cover right to the top with syrup. Use a clean cloth to wipe off any spills around the top or you won’t get a good seal.

Pop the hot seals on and screw the bands. You can grease the bands a little to help then go on.

After 12 to 24 hours the lids should have become concave which means you have successfully sealed the jars. Congratulations!  Store in a cool, dark place.


Comments 16

  1. Hi Wendyl
    Last year we got lots of apricots and the year before plums off our trees ,I washed them and froze them whole and take out a few as I need them and cook them from frozen for hot stewed fruit ,they keep well and are great when you want something for a quick pudding

    1. I freeze excess plum juice and use this in my favoutlrite duck recipe: (Nadia Lim’s Duck and yams in plum sauce). You can use unsweetened plum sauce it puréed plums.

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      Store your plums in a dark, dry, cool area. Moist, warm conditions can grow mould and light can bleach their colour. They should last for years preserved and stored correctly.

    2. No time limit on bottling providing you follow the basic rules of thoroughly sterilising and closing the bottled fruit whilst hot………..
      I bottled some plums in 1978, moved house a few times, lived life etc. and forgot all about them. I found the bottles last year (2018) during another house move, the seals were all in tact so I tentatively opened and tried one………..they were absolutely delicious!!

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      I’ve kept the liquid before and used it on top of deserts, will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for a few weeks or you can freeze it

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  2. Hello Wendyl. I know that when bottling stone fruit you should make a syrup. If I prefer not to use sugar, would honey be okay, or can I just put a little water in pot with my plums & not use any sweetener? Thank you

    1. Hi Andrea, you can use honey or leave out the sweetener altogether, however you’ll have a thin sauce instead of a thick syrupy one. Triona.

  3. Ok so for a bucket of large plums I did 3 1/2 c sugar to 9c water which filled 5 Agee jars. Jars from op shop, lids from Stevens. I squished plums down a bit but looks like a decent amount of ruby fluid (2 c?) left for gin mixer 😉

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