Mirabelle Plum Jam (or Yellow Cherry Plum Jam) has a beautiful delicate flavour that’s similar to apricot jam. This 2 ingredient, pectin-free homemade jam is the perfect breakfast or tea time preserve.
Back in the summer of 2014 my father delivered a huge bag of mixed windfall plums to my door.
They’d come from a new neighbour who wanted to rid his garden of some of the plums that their 5 plum trees had shed.
So, I set about picking out the Mirabelles (which there were most of) and developed a Mirabelle Plum Jam.
Roll on several years and despite my best efforts on local Facebook groups I just couldn’t source anymore Mirabelles. I really wanted to make this jam again and update the photos.
This year however (2023) was my lucky year as it turned out I’d been walking past a couple of local Mirabelle trees for the past 17 years!
Tucked behind a grass verge and nestled in amongst other trees I finally spotted one and then another a few weeks later.
While the Mirabelle plums were still green I took photos and got their identity confirmed in a Facebook foraging group. I even came across Red Cherry Plums!
Mirabelles or Yellow Cherry Plums?
Mirabelles and yellow cherry plums (of which there are many varieties) look very similar.
Until I can go back next spring and look at the blossom formation I can’t be 100% certain that what I found were Mirabelles.
Mirabelle plum trees blossom with leaves present and yellow cherry plums blossom without the presence of leaves.
But either way both plums are suitable for this jam. A reader in the US recently shared here yellow cherry plum jam photos with me on Instagram using this recipe.
Table of contents
- Back Story
- Mirabelles or Yellow Cherry Plums?
- Has this updated Recipe changed?
- What does Mirabelle Jam taste like?
- Where do Mirabelles grow?
- When are Mirabelle Plums in Season?
- Are Mirabelles high in Pectin?
- How to make Mirabelle Jam
- What’s the best way to harvest Mirabelle Plums?
- How ripe should Mirabelles be for Jam making?
- How long will Mirabelle Plum Jam keep?
- How should you store Mirabelle Jam?
- More Plum and Stone Fruit Jam Recipes
- More Breakfast Preserves
Has this updated Recipe changed?
I’ve kept the ingredient quantities exactly as they were but added an extra step.
On removing the Mirabelle plum stones this time around, I noticed how much plum juice/flesh was being wasted.
Hence, I decided to use a sieve to strain it back into the jam pot.
What does Mirabelle Jam taste like?
Mirabelle Plum Jam reminds me of apricot jam but with a more delicate flavour. It has that whole continental breakfast vibe about it so perfect on your morning toast or croissant!
Where do Mirabelles grow?
Mirabelle Plum trees are most common in France but can be found throughout much of Europe (including the UK), where they are either cultivated or growing wild.
These trees were also once popular in the United States but less so today.
When are Mirabelle Plums in Season?
Mirabelles are usually ready to harvest any time between July and September.
Are Mirabelles high in Pectin?
Yes, Mirabelles are high in pectin so hence there’s no need for lemon juice in this recipe.
There are just 2 ingredients in Mirabelle Jam:
- Mirabelle Plums – washed and any stalks removed.
- Granulated sugar – I prefer it to jam sugar as gives a softer set, plus it gives a more intense flavour as you boil away more liquid to get to setting point.
How to make Mirabelle Jam
Here’s a brief run through of how to make Mirabelle Jam, full instructions and ingredient quantities are at the bottom of the page.
- Place Mirabelles and water into a preserving pan and simmer until cooked
- Agitate plums with a sieve to loosen stones.
- Then remove with a wooden spoon.
- Place stones in sieve to remove any remaining flesh/juice.
- Add granulated sugar to the pot..
- Then stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar.
- Bring pan to a rolling boil and time for 20 minutes.
- Test a few drops of jam on a chilled saucer by running your finger through it. If it crinkles/waves it’s ready.
- If not re-boil for another minute and retest (continue until setting point reached).
- Pot up into hot sterilized jars using a ladle and jam funnel.
- Place lids on immediately.
What’s the best way to harvest Mirabelle Plums?
Shaking the branches of a Mirabelle tree will send ripe plums cascading to the ground.
Ideally you would put down a sheet or net to catch them but failing that just pick them off the ground.
Wearing eye protection eg sunglasses is advisable as I managed to let go of a branch after shaking it and it lashed against my eye with force. I’m fine now after some antibiotic drops!
How ripe should Mirabelles be for Jam making?
You want to use just ripe Mirabelles ideally, the riper they get the less pectin they will have.
Never use overripe Mirabelles that you wouldn’t eat as making jam with them will not improve their flavour.
Plus, don’t be tempted to use any green Mirabelles as they will taint the flavour of your jam with a bitter after taste.
How long will Mirabelle Plum Jam keep?
Mirabelle Jam is best eaten within the first 12 months but will be shelf stable for many years.
How should you store Mirabelle Jam?
Keep it in a cool, dry, dark place. I keep mine in a cupboard in my garage.
Once opened, store in the fridge where it will last for months provided you use a clean spoon to serve it each time.
More Plum and Stone Fruit Jam Recipes
Here are some more really good jam recipes you should try:
- Plum & Apple Jam – Fab Food 4 All
- Damson Jam – Fab Food 4 All
- Greengage Jam (and what to do when your jam is too runny) – Fab Food 4 All
- Peach & Apricot Jam (1st prize winning) – Fab Food 4 All
- Sloe & Apple Jam – Fab Food 4 All
- Spiced Plum Jam – Mad About Macarons
- Easy Plum Jam – Farmersgirl Kitchen
- Plum Jelly – Kavey Eats
More Breakfast Preserves
- Peach & Apricot Jam (1st prize winning) – Fab Food 4 All
- Simple Shredless Orange Marmalade.- Fab Food 4 All
- Pumpkin & Ginger Jam – Fab Food 4 All
Whether you buy, forage for or pick Mirabelles (or Yellow Cherry Plums) from your own garden I’m certain you’ll love this unique and delicious plum jam!
As it makes so many jars it’s also perfect for gifting to friends and family!
Do leave a comment and rating below when you’ve made this recipe as I love getting your feedback! You can also share your pictures by tagging @FabFood4All over on Instagram.
Pin Mirabelle Plum Jam for later!
NB: Previously published 5 August 2014.
Mirabelle Plum Jam
- Preserving pan or similar sized pan
- long wooden spoon
- Long metal spoon
- jam funnel
- 9 324 ml Jam jars and lids (or your choice of sizes)
- 2 Kg Mirabelle plums or yellow cherry plums
- 2 Kg granulated sugar
- 200 ml water
- Before you start, place 2 saucers in the freezer and sterilise jars (see notes).
- Place Mirabelles and 200 ml of water in a preserving pan and bring to a simmer until cooked (around 12 minutes).
- Agitate Mirabelles with a whisk and remove the stones with a long wooden spoon (patience required here)!
- Place collected stones in a sieve (over pan) and squeeze out any remaining flesh/juice.
- Add granulated sugar and stir over a low heat until dissolved (do not simmer). Listen out for any crunching sounds, once they've gone you're ready for the next step.
- Bring to a rolling boil and time for 20 minutes stirring frequently (I found my digital thermometer unhelpful for this recipe as at 15 minutes it reached 105C but was not anywhere near passing the drip or chilled plate test).
- Next test for set. Take off the heat and put a few drops on a chilled plate and place in fridge for 30 seconds.
- Run your finger through the jam and if it forms crinkles/waves then it is ready, if not boil for another minute or two until it passes the set test.
- If there is scum on the surface, push to one side and skim off with a large metal spoon.
- Ladle into jars with the aid of jam funnel and screw on lids immediately or if using wax discs, place cellophane on once cool.
- Makes just under 3 Litres of jam or just over 9 x 324 ml jars.