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Plum & Vanilla Bean Preserves

  • 6 cups plums halved & pitted
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 2 whole vanilla beans scraped
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice

For the plum preserves:

1. In a large, deep stainless steel pot, place plums, sugar, honey, water, and lemon juice. Cut open vanilla beans, scrape out seeds and add to pot. Throw in the scraped pods as well. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.  

2. Boil on high, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and reaches "gel" stage*. (See notes below). Once gel stage is reached, skim off foam.  

3. Remove vanilla pods and discard.

Meanwhile, have your canner, jars, and lids ready.  

To water bath can:

1. Ladle hot preserves into hot jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rims. Center lid on jars.  crew on bands.  

2. Place jars into a prepared water bath canner and process for 15 minutes**.

3. Turn off heat, remove jars, and move to a towel-lined counter. Cool completely before storing in a dark, cool place.

Can also be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to one month.


This recipe is very simple, but take note that since I opted not to use any pectin, it will take a while to cook the plums down until they’re thick enough.  It took me about 45 minutes.  

*To test your plum preserves to see if they’ve reached the “gel” stage, place a small plate or several metal spoons in the freezer. When you think you’re close, pull out the plate and drop a spoonful onto it. Place back in the freezer for a minute. Remove again and give it a little poke. It should hold it’s own shape and maybe wrinkle a little. If using spoons, dip a chilled spoon into your boiling pot of fruit. The mixture should fall off the spoon in a solid sheet. Another good trick is to take it’s temperature. The preserves should be around 220 F at the gel stage.  

**Make sure to check canning recommendations for your local area based on elevation. The time listed in the recipe is based on sea level.

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