Say hello to your new cheese board obsession, Pinot Prune Jam. The jam is super easy to make with only two required ingredients: naturally sweet sun-ripened prunes and California Pinot Noir red wine.
We all know that squat little jar of fig jam that appears in some format on every single charcuterie board, and while there's nothing wrong with the familiarity of fig jam, there is SO MUCH RIGHT with something new. Pinot Prune Jam is a subtly sweet fruit spread based on California sun-ripened prunes and infused with red wine.
Ingredients You Need to Make Prune Jam
The beauty of this recipe is that there are only a few ingredients. One of the ingredients might not even count because it's included in every recipe, salt! Here's what you need:
- pitted dried plums, aka prunes
- red wine
If you like your jam extra sweet, add optional honey, maple syrup, or other sweetener.
Ingredients Notes and Resources
Prunes. Prunes are dried plums, made from a variety of plum specific for prunes. In California, prunes are descendants of the Petit d’Agen prune plum imported from France. If you're eating prunes in the Unites States, they're almost certainly from California, which grows 99% of the prunes in the US and 40% of the prunes in the world. According to California Prunes, "prune plums ripen fully on the tree — pit and all — without fermenting." You can find prunes in every grocery store near the fresh produce department, or in the snack aisle.
Pinot Noir. Pinot Noir is a light-bodied red wine made from grapes by the same name. Because the wine in the Pinot Prune Jam simmers down and the flavors get concentrated, use a Pinot Noir that you would drink. You can also use other red wines. Stick with something fruit-forward and light- to medium-bodied. Merlot is a good alternative.
Instructions for How to Make Pinot Prune Jam
Pinot Prune Jam requires nothing more to do than simmering the ingredients together, then mashing with a fork. You don't even need to—in fact you shouldn't—get out your blender or food processor.
The most "difficult" step of making Pinot Prune Jam is waiting for it to cool before eating huge spoonfuls of it without burning your mouth!
Place prunes, wine, sweetener if you're using it, and salt in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Using your stirring spoon, gently crush prunes against bottom and side of pot. Simmer the prune-wine mixture, stirring frequently, until prunes begin to break down, about 25 minutes
Use a fork or kitchen shears to further smash the prunes until you get to a jam consistency you like. It should have some texture. Do not blend or process the mixture; it will turn into a fruit butter.
Pro-tip: If liquid gets low while simmering, add more wine about ¼ cup at a time.
How to Use Prune Jam
I'm obsessed with Pinot Prune Jam for cheese and charcuterie boards, and have added it as a staple to the Cheese Board Pantry, which has every ingredient you need for the perfect charcuterie board. The addition of the red wine in the jam gives it just enough depth of flavor that it pairs perfectly with an aged cheese.
But I also use the Prune Jam beyond just a cheese board.
- Dolloped onto almost-burnt toast with a little whipped ricotta? Yes.
- Swirled into a grain porridge bowl? Ok.
- Straight out of the jar with a spoon? Yeah, that was me.
Health Benefits of Prunes*
One 38-gram serving of prunes, which is 4-5 prunes:
- provides 3 grams of both soluble and insoluble fiber
- has only 90 calories per serving
- is a good source of vitamin K, providing 20% RDA
- provides more antioxidants per serving than a serving of dried cranberries!
- Low-glycemic index at 29
* nutritional information provided by California Prunes
Dietary Considerations and Health Benefits of Pinot Prune Jam
This recipe for Pinot Prune Jam as published, is:
- 100% plant-based/vegan
- refined sugar-free
Tools and Equipment
As far as tools, even though this recipe is called "jam," we're not preserving the Prune Jam for the long-term, so we don't need any special sterilizing equipment or anything like that. However here are a few things that will make it even easier to get Pinot Prune Jam from your pantry to your palate:
- Corkscrew, the simplest version to open your bottle of Pinot Noir!
- Corkscrew, a fancy French one that's actually a VERY nice gift
- Coravin wine preserver, if you're going to make this recipe and save the rest of the bottle for later
- Liquid measuring cup, with angled measurements to make it way easier to read
- Saucepot, the workhorse pot in the kitchen
- Kitchen shears
- Mini masher
- Mason jars for storage, always wide mouth for easier filling and more importantly, cleaning!
- Lids for Mason Jars, chuck those annoying two-piece metal lids
For More Recipes with Prunes
And if you're here for more spreadable deliciousness for cheese board:
- Chia Seed Jam, super fast and simple
- Bacon Jam, so savory and addictive
- Caramelized Onion Jam
- Smoked Salmon Goat Cheese Spread
Plums and prunes are the same fruit! Plums are the fresh, raw fruit, and prunes are dried plums, specifically a plum for prunes.
Prunes will keep for 6 months in the pantry at room temperature when tightly sealed (unopened), according to the USDA. You can also extend the shelf life to 12 months by refrigerating prunes.
One serving of prunes has 14 grams of sugar. With an accompanying high amount of dietary fiber, prunes do not spike blood sugar and have a glycemic index of 29, which is considered a low GI by the ADA.
One serving of prunes, which is 4-5 prunes, contains 3 grams of fiber. Prunes contain both insoluble and soluble fiber, which contribute to good gut health. source
Prune Jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks if properly sealed in an airtight container. Highly doubtful that you will have leftover Prune Jam beyond a few days though!
Pinot Prune Jam Recipe
- 12 ounces California prunes
- 1+1 cups California Pinot Noir
- up to ½ cup sugar or honey
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Place prunes, 1 cup of wine, sweetener if you're using it (start with about 2 tablespoons, prunes are sweet!), and salt in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
- Simmer the prune-wine mixture, stirring frequently, until prunes begin to break down. If liquid gets low, add more wine about ¼ cup at a time. Using your stirring spoon, gently crush prunes against bottom and side of pot. The simmering process takes about 25 minutes.
- Taste Pinot Prune Jam and adjust with additional sweetener and/or salt. Use a fork to further smash the prunes until you get to a jam consistency you like. It should have some texture. Do not blend or process the mixture; it will turn into a fruit butter, which isn't bad, but that's a different recipe.
- Keep Pinot Prune Jam in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week, if you can hold yourself back for that long. (This is not a "canned" or preserved jam so it should be refrigerated!)