Homemade plum jam with star anise

Warming plum jam with a hint of spice

This plum jam is runny, sweet and a little tart, with a slight warmth from the spices. It’s always best to make jam with local plums when they’re in season, but any in-season plums will do. The jam is delicious on good bread or with ice cream, soft waffles or other desserts, and it’s even a surprisingly delicious base for a sticky sauce for duck or tofu.


Whenever you make jam, it’s crucial that you use sterile jars, lids and seals. Not all “jam looking” jars will take the heat and pressure involved, so make sure you buy jars made for preserving.

Use your preferred method of sterilisation. Amelia likes to bring the jars to the boil in a large saucepan and boil them for 10 minutes, then dry them in the oven at 120°C for 10–20 minutes.


1kg plums, halved, skinned and destoned
100ml water
500g sugar (we use whatever sugar we have to hand, but white sugar works best)
3 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Bring the plums, water and spices to the boil.
  2. Add the sugar and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir for one minute.
  4. Add the lemon juice and stir for another minute.
  5. Remove and discard the cinnamon. We usually leave the star anise in, dividing it between the jars, so it keeps adding flavour as the jam sits. If you don’t want too much star anise flavour, remove and discard them now.
  6. Ladle the jam into hot, sterile jars, leaving as little air on top as possible.
  7. Immediately put on the lid and tighten. Let the jars cool completely before storing them in a cool, dark place. Refrigerate after opening.

Note: It’s important to add the jam to the jars while they’re still piping hot and immediately close the lids tightly (using an oven mitt). If you use metal lids, you’ll hear a “pop” as the jam cools down and a vacuum is created inside the jar.