Damson Jam

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My other-half spotted a tree in the grounds of his new work place laden down with fruit he thought were plums. A small bagful brought home on Wednesday revealed them to be damsons, relations of the plum but smaller and sharper in taste. We’ve been collecting damsons for a number of years now to make damson gin which we both prefer to sloe gin. We used to get them from a tree that only we knew the location of, but this one at his place of work is much more convenient, plus seems to be yielding far more, so no more climbing on shoulders to get our crop thankfully.

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I decided to make jam with them this time, as firstly I’ve failed to make any jam so far this year despite promising to do so, secondly I’ve failed to yet use the jam pan I bought last year, and thirdly and more shockingly of all because we’ve actually not yet worked our way through last years stock of sloe and damson gin!

Here is my recipe for making a small quantity of Jam it yielded three jars – enough for the two of us:

  • 600g damsons
  • 500g sugar (I used jam sugar)
  • 200ml cold water
  • Wash the damsons and remove any leaves or stalks. Place in a heavy bottomed pan with the water. Bring to the boil, then lower the temperature and allow to simmer for 20mins. Help the damsons to break up by mashing and stirring with a fork.
  • Whilst the fruit is simmering prepare the jars. I recycle glass jars, but all jars need to be sterilised before the jam goes in. I fill a large bowl with freshly boiled water, then submerge the jars and lids making sure no air is in the jars. After a couple of minutes I remove the jars empty the water and allow them to dry in the oven for 5mins at 175c.
  • Back to the jam. Slowly add the sugar whilst stirring and continue to stir until the sugar is dissolved. Once dissolved turn up the heat again and boil vigorously for 10-15mins. Mine took 15mins to reach setting point as tested with the old plate in a freezer and prodding for wrinkles in a dollop of jam added to said cold plate.
  • Once the jam is ready remove from the heat, skim off any ‘scum’ from the top and use a slotted spoon to remove the stones. I also had to skim off a creepy crawly that floated to the surface, just wanted to say… Then carefully pour into the jars and put the lids on. As easy as that!!

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