Damson Jam

On a recent visit to my boyfriend’s parents what was going to be a lovely relaxed weekend ended up as a full on fruit foraging event. Whilst enjoying a barbecue in the garden I wandered down to the bottom of the garden and found a tree absolutely bursting with damsons, a relation to plums. My first thought was to make damson vodka but a second discovery of sloe berries made me to decide to turn the damsons into a simple but delicious jam, but I’ll be back for the sloes – they will definitely end up as vodka!

Damson Jam

500g Damsons
185ml water
600g sugar

To make the jam first make sure you have ready enough sterilised jam jars ready to be filled with the delicious jam. Secondly, wash and dry the fruit, removing any stems.

Place the fruit in a large pan with the water and place over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Once the fruit has softened and is a little mushy remove from the heat and pick out all the stones. Yes this step is tedious and takes a bit of time but you really don’t want those stones to be in the final jam and it’s really worth the effort.

Place the pan back over medium/high heat and add the sugar, stirring to combine. Place a sugar thermometer in the pan and cook until the mixture reaches 104⁰C/219⁰F, the temperature at which jam will set on cooling. Remove the jam from the heat and let sit for a minute or so, any foam that is on the surface of jam needs to be skimmed of with a spoon and discarded.

Pour the jam, whilst hot, into your prepared jars and seal immediately. The heat in the jam will form a vacuum so the jam will last a longer time. Once made the jam can be stored potentially for years but once opened needs to be refrigerated and used much faster as it will spoil like most foods. This jam would be the perfect topping to a delicious homemade scone.

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16 Responses to Damson Jam

  1. Choclette says:

    Ahh, I was wondering how you were going to remove the stones. Your method seems an awful lot easier than de-stoning the damsons beforehand. I bet it was delicious, what a great find.

  2. Oooh tasty. At cake club last week a lady brought me some damson “cheese” which is like super thick jam! A couple of years ago I made damson brandy – it’s still brewing away now. I have some every now and then but it’s fairly potent!

  3. sue says:

    Stir in a knob of butter after setting point is
    reached. This stops the “scum” forming and removes
    the need for skimming.

  4. Yum. Had only tried damson jam for the first time this year – it’s becoming more common in New Zealand. I love its tart plummy flavour and its colour. Looking forward to this vodka!

  5. Cheryl says:

    Just made this today after getting a bucket of damsons from a friend. I added half a vanilla pod at the beginning, the jam has a wonderful flavour, and we have enough jam to last for an age! In fact I didn’t have enough jars, so will be making a damson bakewell tart and jam tarts too…..

  6. I adore damsons… I’m not a hugely adept jam maker but luckily my granny is the expert – I’ll pass your recipe on to her! Looking forward to the sloe vodka too ;-)

  7. Mandy says:

    I have a damson tree in my garden and this year have had a bumper crop! I’ve made some damson chutney and damson jam. The jam recipe was adapted from a spiced plum jam – with cloves, cinnamon, ginger and a bit of star anise thrown in – makes it very warming with an unusual twist.

  8. linda flynn says:

    Huge harvest if Damsons this year.plenty of jam n 32 bottles of damson wine. The chutney is a good idea, so more collecting tomorrow. All extras the chickens have.

  9. Jukka says:

    Damsons are very popular in Finland, too. Last year the crop was very good and I got something like 20kg of them from a friend who picked them in her parents’ garden. I also made jam, though with added pectin to be able to reduce the sugar. We especially like it on toast with cream cheese. I also made juice (or a kind of squash with pulp) that I spiced up with cinnamon. We loved that very much, too! And, of course, I made damson gin, too. It long gone now. :)

  10. Jane says:

    I’m making damson jam and I’ve just removed the stones in 1 minute from 1.5kg damsons- stew them and when they’re soft stir with a hand whisk. This separates the stones from the flesh. The stones easily come out with a slatted spoon without wasting any of the fruit.
    Hope this is helpful.

  11. Cecilia says:

    Hey Edd,

    I was wondering – how much jam do you get with this recipe, in terms of weight and/or jars?

    Thank you!

  12. tom says:

    straining the boiled damsons through the colinder removes the stones very well/ quickly also.. t

  13. graham says:

    just tried your recipe, fantastic. thanks for the tip about removing the stones before boiling stage.

  14. peterson says:

    Damson is always my favorite and whatever damson jam i was tasted yet this is the best. Thanks mate.

  15. Jessica says:

    Excellent recipe, thanks, made it today, tastes wonderful, followed your advice on skimming the stones before the main boil – works a treat though it is a bit laborious – totally worth it though.

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