It is the season for Damsons (usually end of August UK) which means either jam or gin! I prefer to make jam so I’m stocked up through to the winter. This no added pectin damson jam has a lovely fruity taste and tarte that goes great in frangipane slices or Bakewell tarts.
HOW TO PREPARE DAMSONS FOR JAM?
First, give your damsons a good wash and remove all the stalks. I tend to fill the sink up with water and tip all the damsons in there so you can see what floats up to the top and then check each one and place it in a bowl.
HOW DO YOU REMOVE THE STONES WHEN MAKING DAMSON JAM?
Place them in a large stainless steel pan with water and simmer gently until the fruit is soft and press the damsons against the side of the pan and you will release the stones. Depending on how many damsons you have you may want to use a colander to sieve them out if you have a lot to get through.
DO DAMSONS CONTAIN PECTIN?
Yes, damsons are full of pectin so there is no need to add lemon juice or added pectin. Make sure you don’t remove the stones before you boil them as the stones contain the pectin!
CAN YOU FREEZE DAMSONS BEFORE MAKING JAM?
Definitely! Freeze them whole in a large freezer bag. When you are ready to make jam again just defrost and prepare as you would with fresh damsons.
HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE DAMSON JAM LAST?
If your jars are sealed they should last for 2 years. Once opened they can last up to 3 months in the fridge.
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE DAMSON JAM?
You will need:
1 kg Damson
1 kg Caster Sugar
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED TO MAKE JAM?
Rubber Gloves – so you don’t burn yourself! These are my favourite ones to buy.
HOW TO STERILISE YOUR JAM JARS?
There are a few options.
Option 1: The one I do is first wash your jars thoroughly. I usually put them on a hot wash in the dishwasher.
When the jam is about ready, I boil the kettle and place the jars and lids in a clean sink and pour the hot water on the jars and lids. Make sure you cover everything. Using your rubber gloves place the jars and lids on a clean paper towel to dry then fill your jars with jam and seal quickly.
Option 2: Another option is to wash your jars as in option 1 and place the jars and lids in a hot oven, about 200 degrees for 15 minutes.
Option 3: Wash jars and lids as in option 1. Place jars in the sink, fill with hot water and use sterilising tablets.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN THE JAM IS READY TO POUR IN THE JARS?
Whilst you’re cooking your jam, place a small plate or saucer in the fridge. When you think your jam is ready, usually after about 50 – 60 minutes, put a small amount of jam on the cooled plate. If there is skin on it or pulls slightly with your finger, it’s ready!
More jam recipes
Damson Jam Recipe
- 1 kg Damsons
- 1 kg Caster Sugar
- 300 ml Water
- Place damsons in a stainless steel pan and cover with the water. Boil gently until the fruit becomes soft and remove stones, ontinue to boil until the mixture is reduced by half then add the sugar.
- Bring to the boil rapidly for about 10 minutes or until the jam sets when tested.
- Pour into freshly sterilised jars and seal with a poppable lid. When cooled the lids should suck in, that's when you know the jars are selaed correctly.
Whilst you’re waiting for your jam to cool, make some scones. They are quick and easy to make, it would be rude not to!. Go to my scone recipe here >>