Refreshing and Jelly-Like Ume Plum Jam

Refreshing and Jelly-Like Ume Plum Jam

This jam has such a pretty color and wonderful aroma.


Ume plums
1 kg (500 g x 2)
600 to 700 g (or 300 to 350 g for 500 g of plums); about 70% of the weight of the plums


1. Take the stem ends off the ume plums using a toothpick.
2. Soak the ume plums in plenty of water for 2 to 3 hours or overnight to remove their bitterness.
3. Divide the ume plums into 500 g each, one batch with the greener unripe plums and the other with the ripe plums.
4. Put plenty of water in two pans, add a lot of plums in each. Then, start cooking over medium heat. If the plums start to foam up in the water with bubbles on their surface, throw away the water and put in fresh water. Repeat 2-3 times. If you let the water come to a boil the plum skins will tear, so if the water becomes hot to the touch, drain it off and add fresh water.
5. When the plums are tender, drain them and crush with a spatula to remove their pits. Puree the plums in a food processor. You can chop it up with a knife, or pass it through a sieve to make it smoother...whichever method you'd prefer. Please do this after letting the plums cool down.
6. If you process the plums in a food processor, it will become smooth as if you passed it through a sieve. The skins add a pretty color.
7. Place the puree in an enameled pan and simmer. When it starts to bubble, add the sugar in 2 to 3 batches Scum will rise from the unripe plums, so skim it off as you simmer.
8. As you keep simmering it over medium heat while removing the scum, in about 10 minutes the color will change to apricot. When the puree becomes translucent and thick, it's done. Pour into sterilized jars while still hot. The upper jar is the one with ripe plums, and the bottom jar is the one with unripe plums.
9. Here's a hamburger steak made with this ume plum jam. The sweet-and-sour flavor really goes well with the hamburger and it's delicious.

Story Behind this Recipe

There are many ways to make ume plum jam, such as adding the sugar at the start and simmering the whole plums but if you do that, you may throw out some of the sugar with the stones, and it also makes it harder to pass the jam through a sieve. If you use this method, I think you only need to cook the jam for the minimum amount of time, and you'll also only add the minimal amount of sugar. I simmered the jam 500 g at a time in an enameled pan. This cuts down on the overall cooking time, and I had jam in two colors, which made me happy.