Plum-ginger jam with lime and cardamom

Preserving fresh fruit to enjoy all winter long!

As a cook, I find there’s nothing more satisfying than working with really, really fresh ingredients. I recently picked plums off my niece and nephew’s tree, just blocks from my home, and couldn’t wait to get busy creating something special to share with them. I decided an unusual jam would be the perfect thing, and it didn’t take long to think up this tasty combination. The result is a jam that sets very nicely and is sweet but not overly so. It is a perfect condiment for roasted meats of all sorts and adds a lovely element to cheese plates as well. I think I’d enjoy it on warm scones too!  It doesn’t matter what kind of plums you use, although less-sweet varieties are likely the best option. Don’t worry if the fruit is not uniformly ripe – as I learned in a workshop last year with Seattle’s Brook Hurst Stephens, a certified Master Food Preserver, it’s a good idea to use 25% unripe fruit when making preserves, for better flavour.


  • 4 1/2 cups (1.1 L) of diced fruit (approximately 25 small plums)
  • 3 cups (750 mL) white sugar
  • 1 lime
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 mL) grated gingerroot
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) green cardamom pods
  • 1 pouch liquid pectin


  • Wash plums. Cut each in half, remove pit, then dice finely.
  • Put diced plums in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and pour sugar on top. Stir gently and let sit 1 – 4 hours. This process of macerating the fruit will draw the juice out and make for a more flavourful jam.

  • While fruit is macerating, split open the cardamom pods with a mortar & pestle or the bottom of a sturdy mug or drinking glass. Use your fingernails to scrape the brown seeds out of the pods.
  • With the mortar & pestle or sturdy mug/glass, grind the seeds to make a coarse powder. You need 1 teaspoon of crushed cardamom. Add to the fruit and sugar mixture.
  • Grate the gingerroot and add it to the fruit mixture.
  • Zest the lime, then cut it in half and juice it. Add the lime zest and juice to the fruit mixture.
  • Just before cooking the jam, wash four 8oz canning jars and put them in a 200F oven; turn the oven off.
  • After the fruit has macerated for at least an hour, put the pot on medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring often.  When the mixture is boiling, reduce heat to medium. Cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and when the jam is back to a full, rolling boil, add the liquid pectin. Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.
  • Remove from heat and let cool five minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so.
  • Ladle jam into hot jars, wipe the rims and put sealer lids on them.
  • Process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Makes 4 8oz jars.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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