The Damsons are usually ripe around the end of August or beginning of September just as the weather starts to feel autumnal. There are usually plenty to be found in the hedges around the little roads in the country. I’ve been this Damson Jam Recipe for many years, it’s always a favourite.
Damson Jam Recipe
Servings: Makes approx 10 jars
Cooking time: 30 minutes or so.
What you’ll need
- Preserving or heavy based large pan
- 5 lb Damsons
- 4 lb sugar granulated
- 1 ½ pints water
- Wash the damsons well discarding any that are not good.
- Put them in a greased ( rub the base with a little butter ) pan with the water and simmer slowly until really soft, approx 20 – 30 minutes.
- Warm the sugar in a low oven and when the fruit is ready, add to the pan.
- Stir until dissolved and then boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Don’t start the timer until you have reached a rolling boil.
- Remove the stones with a slotted spoon.
- Check for a set and if not set, then boil for 5 minutes and test for a set again.
- Pot up into warm sterilised jars and seal with a lid immediately.
- Store in a cool dark place.
- Will keep well for up to a year.
Damsons are a small dark purple plum that can be found in the hedges usually. They date from a time when damson trees were commonly planted in the hedges. You can rarely find damsons in a shop. It’s a good opportunity for a bit of foraging.
How do you get the stones out of damsons for jam ?
When the jam is ready the stones float to the top. Just use a large slotted spoon or strainer and keep skimming the stones out. It dies take a bit of time.
Damsons freeze perfectly.
Just wash well and weigh them before freezing. Best used within three months. No need to defrost before starting the jam. Just add to the pan and proceed as above with the Damson Jam Recipe.
For more Autumnal inspiration see Preserving in Autumn