5 Ingredients or Fewer

Shiro Plum and Basil Jam

July 10, 2012
1 Ratings
  • Makes 1¼ pints
Author Notes

Shiro plums are such a lovely color of yellow and are one of the small plum varieties that I have seen at the farmers market in recent weeks. I had about a quart of them left and wanted to make some jam that highlighted their beauty and flavor but had a surprising, savory element too. Basil it was!
Just three ingredients, and decidedly small-batch(!), this is beautiful, unique, and so darn good, I'm just eating it with a spoon.
**I made this again yesterday using Formosa plums, another small variety. I imagine you can substitute any small plum; yellow flesh will yield the gorgeous orange color of the jam.

What You'll Need
  • 4 cups chopped, pitted, unpeeled Shiro plums
  • cups unrefined, granulated sugar
  • 1 sprig basil, 8" long, roughly 15-20 leaves
  1. If you want to preserve this, set up your waterbath canner and get the water boiling. Have your jars/bands/lids at the ready to sterilize: I used 2 half-pint jars and 1 quarter-pint. In a heavy-bottomed pot, put the chopped plums and sugar. Stir gently to combine and place the pot over medium-high heat. When all the sugar has melted, turn the heat to high, and add the basil sprig.
  2. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. After 10 minutes, taste it. Do you like the degree of infused basil-flavor? If so, remove the basil. If not, keep the basil in for a bit longer. Using a candy thermometer, Thermapen or the like, start checking the temp: this jam will hover around 220 when it's ready. Ultimately, you'll probably cook this for about 20 minutes.
  3. This is optional but I did it because I like chunks of fruit in my jam: after 15 minutes, remove the fruit chunks that remain using a slotted spoon. Set them aside in a small, non-reactive bowl. Boil the syrup for a few minutes, and then add the fruit back in for 1-2 minutes, stirring gently.
  4. Carefully fill your jars, bubble them and wipe the rims. Apply the lids and bands and process in your waterbath for 12-15 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Contest Entries

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • kzmccaff
  • lapadia
  • em-i-lis
  • Jennifer Petersen
    Jennifer Petersen

13 Reviews

Jennifer P. August 2, 2023
I had only 1.5x plums & used 1.5c sugar & it made (2) half pints. On my stovetop, it reached 220 after only 8minutes. Is loose initially but sets to jelly after several hours.
Heather July 31, 2015
Tastes good, but cooking it until 220 degrees, it sort of became like candy, more than jam. We have about a million shiros, so I may try another batch but not cook it so long.
em-i-lis July 31, 2015
Ah, lucky you to have so many of those golden yummies. :) So sorry it got too stiff. You can definitely thin it by stirring a half cup or so of boiling water back in but if you've already sealed your jars, I know that's a pain! I'm not a fan of too-thick jam so have been known to loosen it with the boiling water trick. So glad you like the flavor, and definitely see what happens when you cook it less next time. Plums have SO much pectin so it's easy to make jam too thick. Thanks so much!!!
Heather July 31, 2015
Thanks--the boiling water trick sounds like a good thing to know! I'm very new at making jam, so this is the first time I've had a batch get this thick.
em-i-lis July 31, 2015
It can definitely happen, especially with plums. Good luck and thanks again!
Tan-ja August 19, 2014
Crazy load of shiros this year, so I googled jam recipes. My first time making jam and this was so easy and delicious. Thanks! And the color really is gorgeous.
em-i-lis August 19, 2014
Lucky you, and I am so happy you enjoyed this. I love it too. And yes! The color positively glows!! Thank you Tan-ja.
kzmccaff July 27, 2014
One quick question! I don't see where you add the basil. I assume with the plum and sugar, but want to be double-sure. Thanks!
em-i-lis July 27, 2014
Hi! End of step 1! :) so glad you're making this!!
kzmccaff July 27, 2014
Nevermind! I see it now.
lapadia June 24, 2013
We have an Italian plum tree, the little plums, won't be ripe for a while but I think your recipe will work for them. We need to get to them before the critters do!
lapadia June 24, 2013
Forgot, beautiful color, love it and the recipe!
em-i-lis June 24, 2013
lucky you to have an italian plum in your yard- aah! i imagine the competition from the critters is fierce; i love animals but when they eat from my garden...grr. thank you, linda.