Tart Plum Pie Filling

This year was a bumper backyard plum year. I still have plum butter and savory plum sauce left in the pantry, so in search of new recipes that use a lot of plum, stumbled across pie filling idea at the Local Kitchen blog. Thank you for the inspiration! Here is my execution of this easy preserved pie filling – hot water bath canning is optional. I think it will freeze wonderfully and I put a jar into my fridge for almost immediate use. Too tarty? Add sugar to your liking when ready to bake the pie. This will vary with plum variety etc. I used mostly sugar plums, but a few Italian and also yellow egg (I think).

Tart Plum with Cardamom Pie


  • 7 lbs plums cleaned up and chopped (remove pits, stems, keep the skin!), very forgiving if a little over or a little under; use any kind
  • 1 lemon for zest and juice
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, love organic!
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom, could also use cinnamon and nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt


  • Premade pie crusts, top and bottom
  • 1 tablespoon cream or half & Half
  • 1 tablespoon sugar and two pinches of cardamom
  • Or make you own J

You will also need some cornstarch or thickener [e.g. ClearJel] to use when ready to bake the pie. I did not add before canning, although you can add ClearJel at this point, but not cornstarch. Just make a note on your label what you did or did not do.

Instructions – Filling

  1. Combine your prepped plums and sugar. Add them to the sugar as you chop to help keep their color and start the maceration process. I had the luxury of time and let mine macerate (such a on odd word on the tongue) overnight in the fridge. Try to let them mingle for at least an hour.
  2. Add lemon zest, ground cardamom and salt to macerated sugary plums. Mix to coat. Keep letting sit around if you have time. The longer it macerates the more syrupy/liquid.
  3. Get all your stuff ready if planning to can the filling [jars, lids, hot water etc]. Quart jars are the right size to make a full size pie.
  4. Pour off the syrupy liquid into a large non-reactive pot. Bring to a rolling boil for 3-4 minutes. It will start foaming, so be sure to skim the foam off.
  5. Add the plums. And bring again to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. The goal is soft fruit and a more thick consistency.
  6. When you are ready to fill the jars, keep it at a simmer and use a funnel to fill jars. Leaving an 1 inch of headspace. Seems like a lot but trust me you need it.
  7. Remove the bubbles and all the other proper canning techniques. Process in hot water bath for 30 minutes.
  8. OR you could freeze in quart bags/containers. This will make somewhere between 3-4 quarters so you might have a funny little bit left.


  1. I am a believer in pre-made pie crusts – sorry if that lets you down. Buy a high quality, preferable organic pie crust and follow their directions. I am just not awesome at homemade pie crusts, unless doing hand pies or “rustic” versions [read: ugly]
  2. Heat up pie filling in a sauce pan and if you need to thicken it with cornstarch or other thickener like Clear Jel. Now is time to sweeten, adjust any spices etc. I also hade a few random plums on the counter that I chopped up really small and tossed into the filling while heating.
  3. I baked it with a double crust (bottom and top). Before putting in the oven coat the top crust with a little bit of cream and sprinkle with some cardamom and sugar. Make a few slits and bake at 425 for about 45 minutes. Halfway through you will need to cover the edges with tinfoil so they do not burn.
  4. If possible let it cool before serving. If you just can’t wait [like me], it will be a bit runny but still amazing with some ice cream or whipped cream!

Enjoy this easy canning recipe! I will be trying with other fruits as well – pear anyone?

2 thoughts on “Tart Plum Pie Filling

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s