Polish Plum Butter {Powidła ze Śliwek}

Plums I grew up eating in Poland are called Hungarian plums = śliwki węgierki, in the US known as damson plum. They are small, football shaped, with yellowish flesh, and shiny purple skin. When ripe, they are deliciously sweet.

Grandparents had one old plum tree in their garden. It bloomed every other year, if I remember correctly, and when it did the branches hung low under the weight of the fruit. Again, Grandma had to get creative with preserving all that fruit, because “nie może się zmarnować” (can’t go to waste), so she’d make us plum pierogi, plum drożdżowiec (yeast dough sweet bread), plum dumplings and jars and jars of plum butter. I love this stuff. Its thick and sweet and sour, perfect on bread or as a topping on cakes and filling for naleśniki. The plums cooked for a while, and since they’re so sweet, the sugar in them would almost caramelize in the pot, creating an unusual and very distinctive taste of a roasted plum. So good.

For my recipe I’m using “blood plums”. They are round, with dark redish purple skin and meaty dark flesh. They are very sweet, therefore perfect for this plum butter recipe. No added sugar needed.

Polish Plum Butter {Powidła ze Śliwek}

  • Yields: 15 plums make about 2 cups of plum butter.
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 90 min


  • Plums - choose plums that are soft and ripe. If you can't find those, buy what you can and let sit on your counter until they become soft.


  1. Wash plums, remove pits and cut into smaller pieces. Cook on low heat until almost all liquid evaporates and the butter starts sticking to the bottom (let it stick a bit, but don't let it burn. This creates a great taste of roasted plums).

  2. If your fruit was sweet and ripe, you should not need to add any sugar. The finished product should become a thick and lumpy in texture and taste sweet, tangy with a slight tinge of roasted plum.

  3. If not consuming immediately, place in jars while hot. Place lids on and bake at 350°F / 180°C for 10 min.

Powidła ze śliwek [pron. poh-vee-dwa zeh shlee-vehk] would line the shelves of the basement pantry, along the side of pickles, sour cherries, pickled beets and other goodies, and as we slowly depleted her provisions, Grandma was glad to see that we were making room for the next season’s harverst.

Tell me about what your family preserved the most? Leave a comment below.