Lisa Lansing

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Powidła plum jam (no added sugar)

My husband Kuba and I both enjoy spending time in the kitchen together. He prepares all the vegetables we need for our meals and even handles all the clean-up. Usually I’m happy to do all the cooking, but lately, he’s been making a few things in the kitchen, like this sumptuous powidła (plum jam) made from śliwka węgierka (plums).

Powidła (pronounced “poh-VID-wah”) is an autumnal plum jam, popular in Poland. Unlike other jams or jellies, powidła is prepared without added sugar. Sweet plums are all you need!

Śliwka węgierka (pronounced “SCHLEEV-ka vin-GER-kah”) are bluish-purple, smaller, and more oblong than plums sold in the States. Prior to travelling around Europe, I hadn’t seen plums like these sold fresh. Typically, these plums are only sold dried as prunes. These specific plums are only available in autumn, but any plum will work in this recipe, as long as they’re sweet.

This jam is easy to make. It only takes four hours of your time over two days. Simply quarter the plums, place them in a pot with a small amount of water, bring it to a boil and simmer at a low heat for two hours. During that time, add the juice from half a lemon and a few shakes of cinnamon. Stir it often so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Let it cool overnight and cook for two more hours the following day. That’s it!

Kuba’s family would make large batches of powidła every autumn. Proper canning ensured the jam would last for months. We only make small batches here, using 2 kilos or less of plums, which gives us 2-3 little jars of jam. It never seems to last long since we like to snack on it.

Traditionally, powidła is used as a filling for pączki (pronounced “PAWNCH-kee”), deep-fried pastries similar to doughnuts, and even as a filling for pierogis (dumplings). I’ve never tried vegan pierogis, let alone sweet ones, so maybe I can convince Kuba to make some. Yum!

I like powidła on Wasa crackers with a sliced banana or on top of oatmeal. A spoonful of powidła with a swirl of PB2 peanut butter on my oatmeal makes a tasty PB&J breakfast!

I’m glad he filled me in on this tasty recipe and method because that means I can share it with you! I could see veganised Polish recipes becoming a thing on this blog. What do you think? 🙂

Powidła plum jam
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs
Total Time
4 hrs 5 mins

This jam is sweet and satisfying without any added sugar. Try it on toast, crackers, oatmeal, or even on rice!

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Author: Kuba Badaszweski
  • 2 kilos Śliwka węgierka (or any sweet plum)
  • 175 ml water (3/4 cup or half a mug)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • cinnamon, ground (to taste)
  1. Quarter the plums and place in a pot with a small amount of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting possible and simmer (uncovered) for one hour, stirring occasionally, every 5-10 minutes or so, so the plums don't stick to the bottom of the pan.

  2. Stir in the juice from half a lemon and a few shakes of cinnamon. Continue to stir it often and simmer for another hour.

  3. Turn off the heat, cover it and let cool overnight. The following day, simmer the jam (uncovered once again) on the lowest heat possible for two more hours until the jam is thick and sweet.

Recipe Notes
  • If you make a larger batch, try canning it so it lasts longer. Once the jam is finished cooking, transfer it (while it's still hot) to 2-3 jars and close their lids. Place a tea towel or small washcloth inside a large pot, place the closed jars on top and fill the pot with water so the water reaches just below the tops of the jars. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Carefully remove the jars and let them rest upside down until they cool. Check the tops of the lids to ensure the top is sucked in. The hot water forces out the air trapped inside the jar, creating a vacuum which sucks down the lid, creating a seal.
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