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Natal Plum Jam (Num Num Jam)

About Natal Plums

Carissa macrocarpa – Natal plums (also referred to as Num Nums) are a wild plant that thrives in warmer weather. These are native to Natal, South Africa (hence the name), but also grow wild in warm US states, like California, Texas, Hawaii and Florida.

Their bright red fruit has a sweet and tart taste that is similar to cranberries. It has wicked thorns on it (foraging is quite the task), making it a good barrier for predators. It’s also used for fire landscaping.

Our plants are ready for harvest in October and November. They seriously make the best jam, which is also great as Christmas gifts!

Identifying Natal Plums (Photos)

Making Natal Plum Jam

You know what’s great about Natal Plums? You don’t have to deseed OR peel them! Just wash well and they’re ready to go.

To make Natal Plum Jam, you will need enough Natal Plums to equal 1 qt (4 cups) after being cooked and mashed. This is about 2 to 3 pounds of Natal Plums.

Wash the plums and place in pot with water. Give those plums a good mashing. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Mash ’em again.

Cookin Natal Plums
No peeling or deseeding necessary! Just wash and start cooking.

After cooking the plums add apple juice, lemon juice and pectin. Boil, then add sugar. Boil again. (Full recipe details below)

Now we’re ready to can! Since this is a high acid food, we will be water bath canning.

Fill hot clean jars and process in water bath canner. Now enjoy the fruits of your labor or give them as festively colored and sweet tasting holiday gifts!

Natal Plum Jam (Num Num Jam)

Delicious jam using wild Natal Plums with canning instructions.
4.41 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 4 pints


  • 2-3 lbs Natal Plums (enough so that when cooked and mashed you have 4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp Ball Classic Pectin (or 1.75 oz. package of pectin)
  • 4 cups sugar


  • In pot, mash plums and add water. Bring to boil and boil 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mash again. Boil for 2 more minutes.
  • Add apple juice, lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a hard boil and hard boil for 10 minutes.
  • Add sugar. Hard boil for 1 minute.
  • Pour into clean, hot pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
  • Water bath process for 10 minutes.


*Disclaimer - This recipe has not been tested by the USDA. Can using your own discretion.

Altitude (in feet)Increase Processing Time
1,001 - 3,0005 minutes
3,001 - 6,00010 minutes
6,001 - 8,00015 minutes
8,001 - 10,00020 minutes

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