Sugar-free jam session with plums & pears

If you just give it enough time you won’t need anything but plums and pears to make this bitter sweet, 100 percent sugar-free jam.

It’s another recipe or better: an idea I brought home from our trip to the beautiful Val Prino in Liguria where natural indulgence has a long tradition. Maybe you want to read my story to get in the mood for this pure, naturally sweet spread.

It’s a childhood memory. The memory of Natalino, a local expert on Ligurian food traditions I met during our holidays. It couldn’t be more different to my own.

I didn’t like jam or marmalade in particular. That was a pity because my grandma used to make a lot. Year after year, fruits from her garden have been destined to hibernate in glasses with too much-added sugar that covered their natural taste. “But the sugar is necessary to preserve the fruits for a long time,” my grandma explained when I was mourning.

Later I experimented with low sugar jams but thought she was right: I had to consume them within a couple of months or throw them away.

So I was quite amazed when Natalino told me about his favorite childhood memory: A jam his “mamma” made just of plums and pears – glasses full of late summer memories and tentative signs of autumn. “How is it possible?” I asked him in disbelief.” If you have enough time,” he explained. And added with a little smile: “For us, the time has never been something to worry about.”

Preserving jam without sugar

I would like to put this sugar-free jam to your heart a pure slow food experience. If you have the opportunity to pick your fruits: Don’t hesitate to do so. There are organizations like in Germany which are connecting people with fruit trees that are not owned by anyone. Probably there are similar projects in your country. If not or if you are living in a less green city, of course, your local farmers market is great, too:-)

Enjoy the meditative and sensorial experience of cooking your jam. Once you slowly start to heat your plums and pears, they change their color like leaves in autumn. The pulp turns from green to a warm yellow and orange while the skin changes its color from yellow or purple to red. The tempting smell is hard to explain, “warm” is the most precise memory I have.

Depending on the number of fruits it will take more or less time until the last juice dissolves, and there is nothing more in your pot than a lovely spread.

By the way: Both, plums and pears, contain a high amount of pectin, so you need absolutely no gelling agents.

sugar-free jam with plums & pears - naturally sweet recipe by Sweet Café International

But is it honestly possible to preserve a sugar-free jam for, let’s say: One year? Yes. Filled into sterilized jars, you have two possibilities. Depending on your time and the additional energy you are willing to use, you may want to can your them traditionally by immersing in boiling water. A quicker way is to freeze them. I tried both ways, and they work.

Enjoy this bitter-sweet delight with bread and butter or in your favorite breakfast bowl, with ice cream, in a cake… so many possibilities!

cooking sugar-free jam with plums and pears - naturally sweet recipe by Sweet Café International

Sugar-free jam sessions with plums & pears
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fresh, ripe plums and pears - as much as you want.

At least 1 kg plums plus 300-400 g pears to get 2-3 glasses.

The ratio should always be about two thirds plums and one third pears.


Cut the plums in two halves, remove the stones.

Cut the pears into bite-size chunks, remove the center with it's kernels if you like, you don't have to.

Put both fruits into a large pot and slowly start to boil them over medium heat. If they tend to stick, especially if you are cooking with gas - stir constantly. You may want to add a little bit water in the beginning. With electric stoves I never needed to do this.

Stir from time to time and more, as soon as the liquid is vaporizing.

Fill into sterilized jars and proceed as recommended in my post.

If you like to can your sugar-free jam in boiling water: It takes 30-35 minutes at 90°C


Comments 2

  1. Natasha Minocha
    What a lovely recipe Tamara! Its so wonderful that this is sugarfree,so the true flavours of fruits come through so nicely. Will have to wait for some very sweet fruits to come into season to make this :) You have a beautiful blog. So happy to be here!
    19 September, 2017
  2. Natalya
    Everyone that I give a jar to loves it and consumes it quickly. Such a fresh, natural taste. I'll try other fruit combinations. It's almost miraculous! Thank you so very much
    21 September, 2020

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