Povidl (powidła in Polish) is a popular throughout Central and Eastern Europe sticky, tangy, lightly smoky Plum and Prune Jam. I made it sugar-free because the plums and prunes are sweet enough as it is. If I had to describe it in one word, I’d have trouble choosing from delectable, comforting, delightful, but I think I’d settle for my favourite. Ok, that’s two words…
We whipped up a batch on the weekend to take around as a delicious gift to introduce ourselves to all of our new neighbours. Plus a jar for Laura’s mum who is a big fan too.
Made with juicy peak season plums which are high in natural sugars and in great abundance at the moment, the spread is sweet naturally, requiring no added sugar. However, for that unique smokiness and a touch of extra natural sweetness, my Mum who makes one of the best povidl I know, has taught me to add some pitted prunes to the mix, it’s pure genius!
In terms of texture, I like my povidl showing signs of real fruit, but if you like a smooth almost butter-like spread, feel free to blend the slightly cooled and pitted jam with a stick blender. This is especially handy considering that povidl is not just a sweet spread used on bread or in Danish-style pastires or jam donuts. It works perfectly well with roasted pork or duck as a dipping sauce – almost like a Chinese plum sauce but without added sugar and other nasty additives.
Here are my 5 Tips to the Perfect Povidl:
- Use plums that are in peak season, over ripe is good – you’ll usually find them heavily discounted at the grocer’s.
- Fresh plums can be halved and cooked with pits – those can be removed at the end before transferring into jars, saving you lots of time and plum juice.
- Add pitted prunes and a little tawny port to the mix to deepen the sweetness and flavour.
- Cook for at least 5 hours, stirring the pot often to prevent the sugars in the jam from catching and burning on the bottom of the pot.
- Pasteurise the jars to prolong the jam’s life, then keep refrigerated after opeening.
The whole process takes about a day all up, especially if you’re thinking of canning (pasteurising the jam into jars), but it’s relatively hassle free and so deliciously worth it!