Say hello to your new cheese board obsession, Pinot Prune Jam.
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 sun-ripened prunes and infused with red wine. The jam is super easy to make with only a few ingredients: California-grown pitted prunes, California red wine, and if you prefer something sweeter, a little extra sugar or honey.
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 funk that it pairs perfectly with an aged cheese.
For a Dessert Charcuterie Board, try this rich, sweet Chocolate Spread, which takes the idea of prune jam to another level with the addition of chocolate.
But I also use the Prune Jam beyond just a cheese board.
Dolloped onto almost-burnt toast with a little almond butter or maybe whipped ricotta? Yes.
Swirled into a grain porridge bowl? Ok.
Straight out of the jar with a spoon? Yeah, that was me.
What 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 plum, aka prunes
- red wine
- optional: honey, maple syrup, or other sweetener if you like your jam extra sweet
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. Just a pot for the stovetop, a spoon to stir, and maybe a pair of kitchen shears to mash up the prunes are all that's required.
Some Notes About Ingredients
- Prunes: Prunes are dried plums, made specifically from prune plums. 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 the California Prunes site, "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, definitely use a Pinot Noir that you would drink. I currently have northern California-based Wente Vineyards Riva Ranch Pinot Noir in my sights. You can also use other red wines, stick with something fruity and light- to medium-bodied. Merlot is a good alternative.
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!)