Skip to Content

Small-Batch Vanilla-Plum Preserves {no canning required} and a giveaway

Plums contain lots of natural pectin, so making preserves is easy! Vanilla-plum preserves make a delicious topping for your breakfast! 

Small-Batch Vanilla-Plum Preserves by @TheRedheadBaker

I first heard about these vanilla-spiced plum preserves YEARS ago in an issue of Food Network Magazine. I saved the recipe, and have been dying to make it ever since.

That said, I'm a little intimidated by canning. And I was hesitant to invest money in all the necessary equipment. So, it's been filed away ever since, gathering dust.

I had a few jars here and there, but they were meant to hold small batches of homemade condiments and spice mixes; they were not suitable for canning. I featured one of those Kilner jars in my Homemade Sriracha post, and the distributor of those jars, Pacific Merchants, contacted me to offer a gift card to give away to my readers.

Small-Batch Vanilla-Plum Preserves by @TheRedheadBaker

I was trying to decide what to make in conjunction with the giveaway that could feature one of their products. That was when I discovered that if you plan to consume preserves relatively soon after you make them, you don't NEED to go through the canning process!

A non-canned batch of preserves will last about 3 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator. This recipe makes about a cup. I use about two tablespoons per bagel, or per two slices of toast, so this will last me through 8 breakfasts.

These preserves were so tasty, I want to make another batch (and maybe I'll finally jump into canning, so I can make a big batch!). I thought they would be tart, but they were just the right amount of sweet. I loved the subtle vanilla aftertaste.

Pacific Merchants $50 gift certificate giveaway

Pacific Merchants has offered a $50 gift certificate to one lucky reader of The Redhead Baker. Not into canning? Pacific Merchants sells so much more! Acacia wood serving bowls, trays and utensils; fermenting crocks; placemats; and more! If you're interested in cooking (which you probably are if you read my blog), then there's something for you.

Simply scroll down to the bottom of this post and enter to win! The only required entry is to leave a comment on this blog post; all others are optional, but provide you with additional chances to win!

In addition, anyone who reads this blog can get 15% off their purchase at by using the code Redhead15!

Small-Batch Vanilla-Plum Preserves by @TheRedheadBaker

Small-Batch Vanilla-Plum Preserves by @TheRedheadBaker

Small-Batch Vanilla-Plum Preserves {no canning required}


  • 6 inch small ripe plums, skin on, cut into 1- pieces
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 inches of vanilla bean
  • 3 inches of cinnamon stick
  • Juice of ¼ of a lemon


  1. Place half of the plums in a medium, non-reactive saucepan with the sugar. Split the vanilla bean in half, and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the vanilla bean halves to the plums with the cinnamon stick and lemon juice.
  2. Set the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until the plums begin to break down and the mixture boils.
  3. Add a candy thermometer to the mixture, and if it's not already, bring the mixture to 220 degrees (the point at which the mixture will gel when cooled).
  4. Let the mixture cool for 30 minutes. While the mixture cools, soak one 8-ounce (or two 4-ounce) glass storage jars in hot water (putting hot preserves in cool glass jars can cause the glasses to break).
  5. Return the plum mixture to a boil, and add the second half of the plums. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for another 5 minutes, until the newly-added plums are very tender. Fish the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean halves out with tongs.
  6. Remove the glass jar(s) from the hot water and wipe dry. Use a funnel to fill the jar(s). Wipe any spilled preserves from the neck of the jar(s). Twist the lid(s) on, and let the jars cool on the counter for about two hours, then place in the refrigerator. Use within 3 to 4 weeks.

Did you love this recipe?

Leave a star rating below and share it on social media!

Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Pacific Merchants is supply the $50 gift certificate as prize for this giveaway. I was not compensated with cash or products for conducting this sweepstakes.

Giveaway Terms & Conditions

  • Odds of winning depend on total number of entries received
  • Giveaway ends at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, August 17, 2014
  • Winner will be selected at random by the Rafflecopter widget
  • Winner will receive one (1) gift certificate valued at $50 to be redeemed at
  • Prize must be claimed within 7 days or it will be forfeited, and another winner chosen
  • Prize can only be claimed by an individual age 18 or older with a US address
  • Official giveaway rules can be found here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

D Schmidt

Sunday 17th of August 2014

I really like rhubarb and ginger jam.

Julie M

Saturday 16th of August 2014

I just got some blueberry jam, and it is delicious! I also love strawberry!


Wednesday 13th of August 2014

I really enjoy peach preserves, if I've made it at home!

Carrie D.

Monday 11th of August 2014

Strawberry! Although, I have a friend who gathers wild blueberries from Maine in the summer and gives me blueberry jam for Christmas!


Monday 11th of August 2014

I have been wanting to get into canning for a long time now! Recipe sounds wonderful!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe