Spicy Italian Prune Plum Jam, Refined Sugar-Free

Spicy Italian Prune Plum Jam with baked goodies.

Spicy Italian Prune Plum Jam with baked goodies.

VEGAN | WFPB | REFINED SUGAR-FREE | GLUTEN-FREE | EASY

 

MEMORIES

I have for you today a favorite treat from my childhood:  Spicy Prune Plum Jam.  ("Spicy" as in autumn spices, not hot pepper spice.)  This is not your average jam, not a classic strawberry or raspberry.  For me, this unique jam is home.  Growing up, we had a big Italian prune plum tree in our backyard, and I remember the excitement at the end of summer when it was time to pick them.  For some reason, our apple tree was not so exciting, even though it was grafted with different varieties.  It was kind of a drag to pick the apples.  Maybe because I couldn't reach very many so my haul was nothing by comparison.  It seemed there were a hundred prune plums to every apple, and every single one was delicious.  

Italian prune plums are so delicious.

Italian prune plums are so delicious.

Each year, as summer shifted into autumn, I couldn't wait for my mom to make The Spicy Prune Plum Jam.  I remember the holiday-spice scent filling the house, the attempt at breaking through the wax that sealed the jam jar, the chunks of plum in each bite.  The beauty of a peanut butter and spicy prune plum jam sandwich.  

A favorite of my childhood:  peanut butter and spicy prune plum jam sandwich.

A favorite of my childhood:  peanut butter and spicy prune plum jam sandwich.

FINDING THE LONG-LOST RECIPE

Recently, I purchased a load of prune plums at the farmers market and started dreaming about that jam.  I hadn't tasted these plums in years, and wanted to taste them as I remembered them. 

Italian prune plums from the farmers market.

Italian prune plums from the farmers market.

 I asked my mom if she still had the recipe.  Sadly, she no longer could find it.  She said she had gotten it out of a newspaper or something but couldn't recall which one, it had been so long ago.  My mother had made it so consistently throughout my childhood that I'd always just thought of it as her recipe, perhaps handed down from her grandmother.  To me, it was that sacred.  A family tradition.

Spicy Italian prune plum jam for breakfast, a real treat.

Spicy Italian prune plum jam for breakfast, a real treat.

I decided to dig again through my recipe collections.  Yes, plural - over the years I've collected recipes in various folders, fill-in-the-blank cookbooks, and on recipe cards.  A bit like finding a needle in a haystack.  But then there it was, on an old index card with my young handwriting from 20 or 25 years ago.  I had it!

The original recipe calls for an equal amount of plums to table sugar.  Three pounds plums to three pounds sugar.  Ouch.  Now that I cook with mostly whole fruit sugar, I notice I don't feel as good after eating something with white sugar.   Could I upgrade the recipe to be refined sugar-free and have the jam still taste as remembered?

Chopped prune plums, ready for simmering.

Chopped prune plums, ready for simmering.

THE NEW SPICY ITALIAN PRUNE PLUM JAM

After some trial and error, I have made significant changes, yet I'm happy to report the essence of the original recipe is thankfully still there.  When you make it, you will experience a lighter yet still-thick jam with the same flavors and chunks of delicious fruit.  There's no wax involved, in fact there is no sealing at all.  This jam is designed to enjoy now!  Makes just the right amount to use within a couple weeks for a family of four.  Great for sharing, too.  I'm so happy to share this revamped recipe with you. 

Can't get enough of that Spicy Italian Prune Plum Jam.

Can't get enough of that Spicy Italian Prune Plum Jam.

Spicy Italian Prune Plum Jam

Spicy Italian Prune Plum Jam

Spicy Italian Prune Plum Jam

VEGAN | WFPB | REFINED SUGAR-FREE | GLUTEN-FREE | EASY

PRINT RECIPE

QUANTITY:  Makes about 2 1/2 cups

SOAK TIME FOR DATES:  At least one hour
PREP TIME:  About 30 minutes 

PRIMARY TOOLS:  Blender and saucepan

Delicious on just about any baked good.  Makes a mean peanut butter and jam sandwich.

Note:  There will be leftover date syrup that you can use to sweeten just about anything.  Great on oatmeal!