Plum Jam with Cocoa and Cloves

This spiced plum jam with cocoa has the comforting flavour of plums upped with tones of cocoa and cloves. A delicious jam for the colder season – try it on toast on a cold winter morning or to fill a shortcrust case and make a tart! It works incredibly well even in a savoury context: serve it with cheese on your festive table and your guests will beg you to share the recipe.

The first time I made this recipe – when it first appeared on this blog – jars of this plum and clove jam were meant to be DIY Christmas gifts. Being on a tight budget, anything homemade was a win. I had been gifted a batch of plums that tasted disappointingly very little, so I thought I’d experiment a little bit with flavours.

A plum clove cocoa jam in a labelled jar.

The inspiration actually came from Poland – if you’ve been reading this blog for some time, this may not sound too novel. Cocoa plum tart was something I had tasted in Krakow that year, so the addition of cocoa powder to my plum jam just sounded very natural. I just needed something to somehow link my jam to Christmas so this is how cloves came on board, too. I decided to get creative and use whole cloves.

How to simmer whole spices in a jam

In order to extract the flavour of the cloves, you need to simmer them for some time in your jam. Next you need to remove every single one of them – nobody likes to bite on those fragrant shards. This means cool the jam completely and extract each and every single clove by hand. It’s what I did the first time I tested this recipe and I can assure it was not a pleasant job. But the jam had turned out delicious (despite the first batch of plums being so bland) so I needed to get creative.

So in order to avoid cooling the jam to rummage through it with your hand – not ideal if you want to place it in sterilized jars afterwards – here’s the trick: use a teabag! Disposable teabags do just that job: while their content infuses the liquid it’s simmering in, the teabag holds it together preventing it from dispersing. To infuse jam with whole cloves you place them in a teabag and simmer it as the jam cooks.

Whole cloves in a teabag.

You might be thinking: hey but why not use powdered cloves? Yeah, that is an option. But I had whole cloves I had brought back from Zanzibar and I wanted to use those. However, if you don’t have whole cloves and would rather stick with powdered, you can sub 1 tbsp whole cloves (the quantity in this recipe) with 1/2 tbsp powdered. Here you can read more about whole vs ground cloves.

The ingredients

As always, for quantities please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post. The recipe is set on metrics but you can click to convert to US customary if you wish.

The ingredients you will need.

Step by step instructions

  • Halve and pit the plums. Peel, core and dice the apple. Add fruits to a large pot with a thick bottom and set on medium-high heat.
  • Add the sugar and stir to distribute. As the plums heat up, they will get softer. Gently mash the plums with a wooden spoon, trying to extract their juice. Keep on medium-high heat for the first 15 minutes and stir often. The plums will keep releasing more juice, the sugar will melt and the texture will be quite liquid. Perfect to be adding our teabag!
  • Place cloves inside an empty teabag, fasten tightly and place inside the pot. Stir in the cocoa. Lower the heat to low, close the pot with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes, just checking from time to time to ensure the jam is not sticking to the bottom of the pot. This rather long simmering time is necessary to extract the flavour from the cloves.
  • Remove the lid and simmer 10 more minutes, just to reduce the jam slightly more. Stir often, as the jam will likely tend to stick at this point. Discard the teabag and blend if you want a smooth texture.
  • Remove the jam from the heat and immediately pour into jars. Please notice that jam in sterilized jars can be stored at room temperature. If your jars are not sterilized I recommend to store the jam refrigerated.

Blended plum jam with cocoa and cloves.

Do you skin plums before making jam?

As you can see in the process shots above, I did not bother peeling the plums for my jam. But you may encounter plum jam recipes that call for this extra passage. Mostly, the skin of plums is discarded because it can be tough and chewy. But this plum jam with cocoa is not a quick one, we’re purposely simmering it a long time to extract the flavour of the cloves. This breaks down the plum skins to a decent extent. I prefer to blend my jam at the end for a totally smooth texture, but you may as well choose not to and the skins will not bother too much.

A small jar of jam, the rest in a pot in the background.

Did you like this plum jam recipe?

Then you may want to take a look at those other fruit recipes from my blog:

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment below. If you’re planning to make this jam at a later time (Christmas!?) you can pin it to Pinterest. Please subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on Pinterest. Happy canning!

This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been updated in September 2021 with new pictures and better wording.

Plum jam with cocoa and cloves

A spiced plum jam with cloves and cocoa. Perfect to share on the Christmas table or to give away in cute little jars as present.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Polish
Keyword cocoa plum jam, plum clove jam, plum jam with cocoa, spiced plum jam
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 2 200 ml jars
Calories 218 kcal
Author Eva | Electric Blue Food

Ingredients

  • 1 Kg plums
  • 400 g sugar
  • 1 apple
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp whole cloves

Instructions

  1. Halve and seed the plums. Peel, core and dice the apple. Add fruits to a large pot with a thick bottom and set on medium-high heat.

  2. Add the sugar and stir to distribute. As the plums heat up, they will get softer. Gently mash the plums with a wooden spoon, trying to extract some juice. Keep on medium-high heat for the first 15 minutes and stir often, the plums will keep releasing more juice.

  3. Add the cloves to an empty teabag and place inside the pot. Stir in the cocoa. Lower the heat to low, close the pot with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes, just checking from time to time to ensure the jam is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.

  4. Remove the lid and simmer 10 more minutes, just to reduce the jam slightly more. Stir often, as the jam will likely tend to stick at this point. Discard the teabag and blend for a smooth texture.

  5. Remove the jam from the heat and immediately pour into jars. Store refrigerated if jars are not sterilized.

Recipe Notes

Please notice that the nutritional information is made by an online calculator and meant as a guideline only. The serving size considered in the calculation is about 50 g of jam.

Nutrition Facts
Plum jam with cocoa and cloves
Amount Per Serving
Calories 218 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 1g
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 226mg6%
Carbohydrates 56g19%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 52g58%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 355IU7%
Vitamin C 10mg12%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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25 Comments

  1. Gloria December 11, 2018 at 02:46

    5 stars
    Talk about Christmas flavours. WOW, this sounds amazing. What a great “food gift” to take to the holiday parties, or to give to all the teachers on your gift list. I know I would love to receive this for sure.

    Reply
    1. Eva December 19, 2018 at 11:06

      I like your suggestion to give this to teachers. As a teacher I loved to receive homemade gifts from my students and their families, it always feels so nice to know they’ve dedicated some of their time to make something for you.

      Reply
  2. Elaine December 11, 2018 at 17:06

    5 stars
    This looks and sounds so scrumptious!! Love the flavor combinations and I bet it would make awesome gifts on the holidays!

    Reply
    1. Eva December 19, 2018 at 11:05

      When jarred in nice jars it really works great as a Christmas present!

      Reply
    1. Eva December 19, 2018 at 11:03

      I love the hostess gift idea! Small light jars filled with this would be perfect!

      Reply
  3. Anne Lawton December 14, 2018 at 18:49

    5 stars
    Wow! this looks so good. And the flavors are just perfect for this time of the year.

    Reply
    1. Eva December 19, 2018 at 11:01

      Thank you 🙂 There’s nothing better than the house smelling like Christmas spices!

      Reply
  4. Farwin | Love & other Spices December 15, 2018 at 00:43

    5 stars
    Such an interesting combination! Plums are tart and I’m curious as to how they pair up with cocoa. It seems like a success.

    Reply
    1. Eva December 19, 2018 at 11:01

      It’s a really nice combination, you should try it!

      Reply
  5. Kiki Johnson December 15, 2018 at 17:06

    5 stars
    Eva, this jam looks divine! I would love a jar for filling my Linzer Cookies! I am sure this jam would take them to a whole new level of festivity with all those Christmas spices!

    Reply
    1. Eva December 19, 2018 at 11:00

      Ooh yes! Linzer cookies with this jam sounds like a fantastic idea!!!

      Reply
  6. Amanda Mason December 16, 2018 at 18:54

    5 stars
    I’m loving these simple ingredients!! Perfect for homemade biscuits on Christmas morning!!

    Reply
    1. Eva December 19, 2018 at 10:59

      Oh yes, it would be delicious on biscuits, with a cup of hot tea!

      Reply
  7. lauren December 16, 2018 at 22:43

    5 stars
    Clove is such a wonderful warming spice for this time of year. This would be such a perfect way to start the day by spreading on a piece of toast.

    Reply
    1. Eva December 19, 2018 at 10:58

      It’s such a perfect item for your Christmas breakfast! Don’t forget salted butter on the toast, it will make the whole flavour of the jam stand out even more!

      Reply
  8. Leslie December 17, 2018 at 00:18

    I have the worst habit of doing the same thing (making something and not writing down exactly what I did) – so many lost recipes in my history! Adding this to my list of recipes that I’d like to try, because I just love fresh jam so much!

    Reply
    1. Eva December 19, 2018 at 10:57

      High five sister! I just hate it when I perfectly nail a recipe but felt too lazy to keep track of quantities during the process!!

      Reply
  9. Amy December 17, 2018 at 02:44

    5 stars
    This jam sounds wonderful! What a great addition to the holiday table with a basket of rolls! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
    1. Eva December 19, 2018 at 10:56

      Don’t forget a thin layer of salted butter between the bread and the jam! This will elevate this jam to the next level!

      Reply
  10. Claire | The Simple, Sweet Life December 17, 2018 at 04:55

    This is such a delicious sounding jam! I’ve made plum jams before but have never thought to include cloves. I bet it tastes wonderful!

    Reply
    1. Eva December 19, 2018 at 10:56

      Cloves really give this jam that extra flavour, I really think you should try to include them next time.

      Reply
  11. Charity December 17, 2018 at 06:40

    I would certainly love to receive this jam as a gift! THe combination of plum, clove and fig sounds so exotic and delicious!

    Reply
    1. Eva December 19, 2018 at 10:55

      Fig is actually a very good suggestion! I bet it would work very well too!

      Reply

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