Broadway Bungalow Plum Jam

Broadway Bungalow Cinnamon Vanilla Plum Jam

Another adapted recipe here … born of what we had in the pantry and the gift of some incredibly yummy red plums from our neighbors. I had a big box of plums to use up. Fast. Before the fruit flies drove me crazy.

So I made jam. I’m not a very organized cook. I got the jam boiling before I realized I didn’t have enough mason jars. Or lids. Tim kindly zipped out to the grocery store to get the supplies I needed.

Broadway Bungalow Cinnamon Vanilla Plum Jam

I used Sure-Jell pectin, and the recipe from their website was the basis for my jam. But of course, did I really follow the recipe? Nooooo. Silly me. Not only did I not follow the recipe — I didn’t read the whole thing before dumping ALL of the ingredients in my pot.

Cardinal rule of cooking: read the danged recipe before you start. Even if you fully intend to ignore the recipe. Really.

I knew I wasn’t going to use 8(!) cups of sugar for just 6 cups of plums. Whoah! Sweet City. And I was already plotting to get creative with the flavor of this jam. Kraft isn’t known for extraordinary flavors, so what was I expecting from a recipe on their website, huh? Also, I sure as heck didn’t want to add butter to my jam. I mean, come on, folks. We put butter on our toast/muffins/cornbread so why put butter in the jam?  (This is how I think. Now you know.)

I think you’ve guessed by now that I thoroughly mangled the plum jam recipe I started with.

Broadway Bungalow Cinnamon Vanilla Plum Jam

So once I realized I was doing it all wrong, I punted. It turned out to be the best jam I have ever made. So I’m giving you the recipe exactly as I made it.  Feel free not to follow my recipe — except oh, puhleeease do not skip the brandy, cinnamon and vanilla. Heh.

I hope you know you are a creative cook too. And if your jam turns out runny, pour it all over some pancakes.

Red Plums make a delicious breakfast jam!

Broadway Bungalow Plum Jam


9 cups (about 6 lbs plums) pitted and halved, with skin left on (measure after you pit the plums)
1 cup water
1 cup brandy
Juice of 2 lemons
1 cinnamon stick
2 boxes powdered Sure-Jell fruit pectin
2 tsp Mexican vanilla
6 cups sugar


Get your jars and canning pot ready: 

  1. Wash small mason jars and the lid-rings with hot soapy water, rinse and set on a clean towel to dry.
  2. Pour boiling water over the flat lids and let sit for a minute, then remove with tongs and dry on the towel.
  3. Fill canning pot about half way with water and heat to a simmer while you are making the jam.

Make your jam: 

  1. Pit the plums. I had a hard time getting the pits to separate, so I just cut around them. Do not peel. The peel is the tastiest part!
  2. Chop the fruit. I used my food processor and made quick work of this step
  3. Place fruit in a large soup pot. Add water, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon stick. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 min.
  5. Stir pectin and vanilla into the jam. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.
  6. Taste for sweetness. I added a bit more sugar at this point because it was super tart.
  7. Boil for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  8. The jam will look runny, but it should thicken up as it cools in the jars.
  9. Ladle the jam into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops.
  10. Realize you don’t have enough jars or flat lids. Send husband to grocery store to get some real quick!
  11. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two piece lids. Screw the bands on tightly.
  12. Place jars on a rack in the canner. The water should cover the jars by 1 to 2 inches — add boiling water if needed.
  13. Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 min + the # of minutes in this altitude chart. *
  14. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely.
  15. After the jars cool, check the seals by pressing the middles of the lids with your finger. If the lid springs back or makes a popping sound, it is not sealed and you will need to refrigerate that jar.

NOTE: * Since we live at around 4000 feet above sea level, I processed the jam jars for a full 20 minutes.