Plum Lemon Verbena Jam

by autumn on July 31, 2011

Plums are the overlooked beauties of the fruit world. The only metaphor I can think of here involves a certain teen romantic comedy and a wonky, diamond-in-the-rough girl who gets a make-over for prom. They’re not showy like our coveted sour cherries and they stick around the market longer here in the northeast, so they create less of a frenzy. I, however, think they’re darn near perfect.

I love a good marriage of beauty and utility. Beyond being gorgeous, plums are highly acidic and some varieties even contain a fair amount of pectin–both boons for folks interested in putting plums in jars. I made this plum lemon verbena jam right before my trip home. I hadn’t set out to make it, but after finding both plums and fresh lemon verbena at the market, I knew I had to set them up.

Even on vacation, I must have had plums on my mind because after some awesome thrifting…

and some awesome mountains…

I came back to the city and immediately bought more plums.

Plum Lemon Verbena Jam

Notes: This makes about a pint, so it would be fine to stash in the fridge. I like putting up even teeny, tiny batches like this one, so I processed it in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. This jam is another adaptation of Christine Ferber recipe, so there was no recommendation for processing in the original recipe.

Yield: 1 pint


  • 600 grams (about 1 lb 2 oz) plums
  • 350 grams sugar
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 8 leaves lemon verbena

Cooking Directions

  1. Remove the stones from the plums. Roughly chop the plums. Place 5 spoons on a small saucer in the freezer.
  2. Place the chopped plums in a preserving pot with the sugar and lemon juice. Toss to combine and allow to sit for about 2 hours.
  3. Heat the mixture over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring frequently.
  4. Once the sugar dissolves, increase the heat to high and boil for 5 minutes.
  5. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat and check the set of the jam using the spoon test. This jam cooks up quite fast, so you may not need much beyond the initial 5 minutes.
  6. If the jam isn't set, boil for 1-2 more minutes, remove from heat, and check the set again.
  7. Once you are happy with the set of the jam, stir in the chopped lemon verbena.


Autumn Giles is the creator of Autumn Makes & Does and the co-host of the Alphabet Soup Podcast.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 London Cleaning August 1, 2011 at 10:26 am

I should notice that your recipe idea is quite nice and traditional, and if you want better results allow the plums to sit overnight in refrigerator.



2 Jules August 4, 2011 at 6:05 am

Thanks for a great recipe. I just made this with ginger instead of lemon verbena and it was maybe the best jam I’ve ever had.


3 autumn August 4, 2011 at 11:49 am

Thanks so much, Jules! Plum and ginger sounds like a great combo too.


4 yossy | apt2bbakingco August 4, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Yum! Those plums look like prize specimens, I am such a sucker for fruit with leaves still attached. I have a blueberry lemon verbena jam on my list, I better get to it before time runs out!


5 Val August 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm

This is so so so good! With Santa Rosa plums it is the most beautiful color ever. It is also perfect since at this time of year I am not ready to do a day-long canning extravaganza–and now I have one pint to hide for a winter day or a fall weekend getaway!


6 autumn August 12, 2011 at 10:53 am

Val, I am so happy to hear that. I bet the color is stunning!


7 Paula @ Dishing the Divine October 3, 2011 at 4:54 pm

This looks wonderful! I’ve sworn myself off of making jam again until next year, though. My cupboard has enough jam in it now to hold us over if the apocalypse happens. 🙂


8 Tania February 21, 2015 at 8:24 am

I made this minus the sugar and lemon and then added chia seeds to thicken and it was delicious!


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