Monday, 7 September 2009

Damsons for Jam

We have a number of damson trees in the hedgrows at Holly Grove. The first year at HG I picked the damsons too early, though I did make some good damson cheese with them, and last year we had no damsons at all, I put that down to a very wet and windy April. This year we have a fantastic crop and I've resisted picking them until they are fully ripe.















The Handyman has been keeping an eye on them for ripeness and with the news that they were ready, yesterday morning I selected the first batch to make some damson jam. A
simple jam recipe, the hardest part is extracting the stones from the jam before potting. And this morning I was rewarded with Holly Grove Damson Jam on my toast - it had set beautifully and retained the sharpness of the fruit - lovely!















Holly Grove Damson Jam

Makes about 5lbs
Ingredients
2lbs 8ozs HG damsons
3lbs granulated sugar
15 fl ozs water

Method
Wash the damsons and place them in a preserving pan with the water. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for about 30 minutes or until the fruit is soft and liquid has reduced. Remove from the heat and add the sugar, stirring until dissolved.

Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly, stirring frequently, for about 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and test using a sugar thermometer - when a temperature of 221F is reached the jam is ready. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 15 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon remove the stones from the jam and then pour into warmed, sterilised jars. Cover and label and store in a cool, dark place.

2 comments:

Ivan Scott said...

I'm very suprised you say "I've resisted picking them until they are fully ripe." The pectine in fruit reduces as fruit rippens and one of the main reasons that jam does not set is that the fruit is too ripe. Further undercooking means that sufficient pectine is not fully extracted - my experience is that damsons are better simmered for 45 minutes.
Major error - the set point for jam is 105degC or 221degF - Not 221degC !

The Generous Gardener said...

Thanks for the spot on the typo - I've changed it from C to F. I understand about the pectin value in some fruits however I find that there is plenty of pectin in ripe damsons to provide an excellent set. This means that they require less simmering and are less sharp. The jam turned out very well and has received good reviews from friends. Hope you'll continue to visit the blog.

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