Easy Greengage Jam and what to do when your jam is too runny!

You will adore this quick and Easy Greengage Jam recipe with a subtle zing of lemon. With just 3 ingredients and no pectin, it’s the perfect way to preserve a glut of these unique and delicately flavoured stone fruits.

Jar of Easy Greengage Jam with spoon of jam resting on top on a slate with croissants.

A Life Long Love of Greengage Jam

As a child I loved Tiptree Greengage Jam which was a rare treat and usually bought by my parents from the local garden centre.

So, back in 2016, I made a Greengage Jam recipe where I cracked open the stones to remove the kernels which were added during cooking to aid the set.

Fast forward to August 2023 and I decided I could make a better and easier Greengage Plum Jam recipe.

So, this time I’ve opted for adding lemon juice and skin to add a little zing, maintain colour and aid the setting process.

Jar of Easy Greengage Jam on a slate with buttered croissant spread with jam. Bowl of greengages and cake stand of croissants in background.

Are Greengages high in Pectin?

Yes, just like plums, Greengages are high in pectin so technically you don’t need lemon juice in Greengage Jam to aid the set.

However, I found that in the time it took to reach setting point the colour changed from green to tawny brown in my previous recipe.

Hence, I almost halved the recipe and decided to add lemon to help maintain the green colour (photos don’t show just how green it was).

Choosing the best Greengages for Jam Making

Greengage Jam - Fab Food 4 All

Greengages are in season from August to September.

For the best colour, flavour and set, look for green, just ripe (fairly firm with slight give), greengages and not riper, soft yellow ones.

If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t jam it, is the rule of thumb!

Ingredients for Easy Greengage Jam

3 ingredients for Greengage Jam: granulated sugar, lemon and greengages.
Easy Greengage Jam Ingredients

There are just 3 ingredients:

  1. Greengages – freshly picked or bought, don’t use overripe ones which won’t taste good.
  2. Granulated sugar – always my preference over jam sugar (with added pectin) which can give a stiff textured jam. Plus, you get a more concentrated fruit flavour as more water is boiled away.
  3. Half a lemon – juice and skin to add pectin, flavour and maintain colour.
Easy Greengage Jam overhead shot with spoon of jam resting on top. Croissant, cut lemon, greengage and butter knife below on slate.

How to make Greengage Jam (full recipe bottom of page)

  1. Add greengages and water to a preserving pan.
  2. Simmer for 15 – 18 minutes until greengages are cooked.
  3. Remove the stones.
  4. Add sugar, lemon juice and lemon skin and heat on low until sugar dissolves.
  5. Turn heat up and bring to a rolling boil. Time for 8 minutes or until temperature reaches 105°C.
  6. Test for set by placing a few drops of jam on a chilled saucer and place in fridge for 30 seconds. Push your finger through the jam and if it forms a crinkle/wave it’s ready. If not re-boil for another minute and test again, repeating until setting point is reached.
  7. Remove lemon skin and pot up jam into hot sterilised jar using a jam funnel and ladle.
  8. Then screw lids on immediately.
Jar of Easy Greengage Jam on a slate with buttered croissant spread with jam.

Trouble Shooting Common Jam Making Mistakes

  • Jam is crunchy: you didn’t allow the sugar to fully dissolve before bring to a rolling boil.
  • Jam is too runny: you misjudged the setting stage. Can be rectified by tipping jam back into the pan and re-boiling until setting point reached.
  • Jam is too stiff: you boiled the jam for too long resulting in stiff crinkles when testing for set on saucer. A jam thermometer can avoid this.
  • Jam burned: you didn’t stir it (been there, got the t-shirt)!
  • Jam develops mould: you didn’t sterilise your jars and lids (never skip this step).
Close up, 45 degree angle of jar of Easy Greengage Jam on a slate with spoon of jam resting on top.

Is Easy Greengage Jam Shelf Stable?

I’ve lost count of the times that readers from across the pond ask if they need to water bath my jams to make them shelf stable.
All my jams are shelf stable as this is how we make jam in the UK and in most of Europe.
If your preference is to water bath then you’ll need to check out your jar manufacturer’s instructions for guidance.

How long will Greengage Jam keep?

Easy Greengage Jam is at its best for colour and flavour in the first 12 months.

How should you store jam?

It should be kept in a cool, dry, dark place (I keep mine in a cupboard in my garage) where it will keep and be safe to eat for years.

Once opened, store Greengage Jam in the fridge where it will keep for months, even a year.

Always use a clean teaspoon serve it which will prevent the jam from spoiling.

Jar of Easy Greengage Jam on a slate with buttered croissant spread with jam. Bowl of greengages. cut lemon and cake stand of croissants in background.

How many jam jars are needed?

This Easy Greengage Jam recipe makes 1 litre of jam so you can use 2 x 0.5 litre jars or 4 x 0.25 litre jars.

It’s a good idea to always add an extra, small jar, just in case a recipe renders slightly more jam.

Can you double the recipe?

Yes, you can double the recipe but you’ll need a jam thermometer to gauge when to test for set (105°C) as the time it takes to reach setting point will increase.

Overhead view of Greengage Jam with spoon in it with cut croissant spread with butter and jam below.

Ways to use Easy Greengage Jam

You can serve Greengage Jam for anything from breakfast on toast or croissants to afternoon tea on scones.

It’s great swirled into yogurt, rice pudding, semolina etc.

You can also use it in cakes, sponge puddings, cookies and jam tarts!

More Plum and Stone Fruit Jam Recipes

Here are some more delicious jam recipes for you to try!

Damson Jam with my tip for pitting Damsons easily! @FabFood4All

I’m sure you’ll love my quick and easy Greengage Plum Jam recipe which is the perfect way to preserve a glut of summer greengages!

I truly believe jam making is great for your mental health as it’s such an immersive experience.

Best of all you’re creating something which will bring joy to others and jam makes a wonderful gift!

Do you agree? Let me know in the comments!

Do leave a comment and rating below when you’ve made this recipe as I love getting your feedback! You can also share your pictures by tagging @FabFood4All over on Instagram.

Pin for later!

Easy Greengage Jam Pinterest Image

NB: Original Greengage Jam recipe previously published August 2016.

Easy Greengage Jam

Easy Greengage Jam a beautiful plum jam with its own unique flavour and a subtle tang of lemon.

Keyword easy, quick, summer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 24 minutes
Servings 4 0.25 Litre jars


  • Preserving pan (or similar)

  • 1 Measuring jug

  • Kitchen knife

  • Lemon juicer

  • Digital scales

  • long wooden spoon

  • Metal whisk

  • Digital thermometer (optional)

  • 2 0.5 litre jam jars with lids 4 x 0.25 litre jam jars with lids

  • jam funnel

  • ladle

  • 2 Saucers

  • 1 Kettle (to boil water for sterilising)


  • 1 kilogram greengages rinsed
  • 800 grams granulated sugar
  • ½ lemon squeezed for 1 tablespoon lemon juice & half lemon skin retained


  • Before you start place 2 saucers in freezer and sterilise jars (see notes).

  • Add greengages (counting them into the pan) and 150 millilitres of water to a preserving (or similar large) pan.

  • Bring to a simmer over a medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the stones come away easily from the flesh (about 15 – 18 minutes).

  • Once greengages are cooked remove the stones with a wooden spoon. Agitating with a whisk can help to loosen and find them. You should have as many stones as you counted greengages at the beginning!

  • Add 800 grams granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and the half lemon skin. Heat on low until the sugar dissolves, stirring with a wooden spoon until no crunching sounds can be heard. Do no simmer or jam will be crunchy.

  • Turn the heat up to full and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil whilst stirring continuously to avoid the jam catching on the base . At this point time for 8 minutes or if you have a digital thermometer aim for a temperature of 105°C, stirring continuously. The jam will drip slowly off your spoon and last drop will hang on when jam is at setting point.

  • Test for set by putting a few drops of jam on a chilled saucer and place in fridge for 30 seconds. Push your finger through the jam and it should form a crinkle (or wave) and feel gel like. If setting point hasn’t been reached boil for another minute at a time and repeat test until ready.

  • Remove lemon skin and pot up jam into 2 x 0.5 litre or 4 x 0.25 litre hot sterilised jars.

  • Screw lids on immediately.

  • Allow to cool before serving. Once opened store in fridge.


Before you start:
Sterilise 2 x 0.5 litre or 4 x 0.25 litre jam jars and lids by washing thoroughly in hot soapy water (or take straight from dishwasher), fill with boiling water, empty and place on a baking tray. Bake in a preheated oven at 140°C for 20 mins and keep the jars there until ready to pot up. Place lids in a bowl and pour over boiling water, use tongs to lift out and drain on a clean tea towel or draining rack.

#Easy #Greengage #Jam #jam #runny

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