This is a recipe which more traditional in the Lorraine region of France, in the North east, however, on my way home from the office I noticed some mirabelle trees on the side of a narrow country lane, not far from home.

This is an easy recipe to make as are most jams and marmalades – the difficult part is judging the pectin levels of the fruit to ensure a good set. Homemade jam rarely has the same consistency as supermarket-bought jam – then again supermarket-bought jam rarely has the taste of homemade jam.

To ensure that some of the jams, which may be slightly runny, due to their pectin levels, retain their consistency, you only have to keep the opened jam in the fridge.

The following recipe makes about 3kg of delicious jam.


Level : Easy

Preparation time : 25 minutes

Cooking time : 45 minutes

Makes about 3 kg of jam


Ingredients :

2kg ripe Mirabelle plums

1.6kg Granulated sugar (if you are in France you can use “Confisucre” which has added pectin to ensure a well-set jam).

3 tbsp vinegar

3 litres cold water


Ingredients :

Mix the vinegar in the 3 litres of cold water, plunge the mirabelles in the mix and wash well – leave to soak for 10 minutes.

Drain the mirabelles then rinse under cold water – pat dry with a tea towel, remove any stalks and leaves.

Remove the stones from the mirabelles, I use a sharp knife, cut the mirabelles in half and discard the stones.

Put the stoned mirabelles into a large stainless steel bowl with the sugar – mix well and leave overnight in the fridge – the next day the mirabelles will have released a lot of juice by the morning.

Place the sugar and mirabelles into a large saucepan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring continuously.

Wash the jam jars in boiling water, then turn them upside-down in a medium hot oven.

The jam mixture needs to get up to 220°c, ensure that you keep stirring so that the sugar does not burn.

When 220°c has been reached, keep boiling for a minute or two then take a small amount of jam and put it onto a chilled saucer (I always keep the saucer in the freezer for this) – the jam should cool quickly and not be too runny – if pushed with the finger it should form a wrinkly skin – if not keep boiling until it does and test again.

Carefull remove the heated jars from the oven, ladle the hot jam into them, leave to cool slightly, before putting the lids on then turning the jars upside-down to form a vacuum seal – leave the jam to cool like this for 6 hours.

The jam is now ready to eat.

Bon Appétit

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