Homemade damson jam is the perfect way to deal with a damson glut, and has a beautiful set, a unique flavour and looks jewel-like in the jar. This recipe makes two large, or two medium and one small jar of jam.
- 500g (1 lb, 1 1/2 oz) damsons (see note)
- 125ml (1/2 cup) cold water
- 500g (1 lb, 1 1/2 0z) golden caster (golden granulated) sugar
- Place a couple of small plates in the freezer to test the set of the jam before you start, and sterilise a couple of jam jars.
- Halve the damsons and remove the stones.
- Combine the halved damsons and the water in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan or jamming pan. Set over a medium high heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until the fruit has broken down into a puree and the mixture has turned a vibrant, jewel-like purple.
- Stir in the sugar until it has completely dissolved. Raise the heat to high and bring to the boil, cooking the jam, stirring often to make sure it does not burn on the bottom of the pan for about 10 minutes. If you’re using a sugar thermometer, you’ll get a good set between 102-104 degrees. If not, around the 8 minute mark drop a little jam onto one of your frozen plates and leave it for about 20 seconds. Then, draw your finger through the jam. If it stays in place and does not flow back into the space you’ve created, your jam is done. I like to use both tests, just to be sure!
- Remove the jam from the heat and leave it to stand for 5 minutes before transferring to your warm, sterilised jars and securing the lids. This waiting time will help you get an even pot of jam, as it will stop the damson pieces still in the jam from all sinking to the bottom once it is potted.
Be sure to weigh your damsons after pitting them, not before.