One of the best things about autumn is the food! Pumpkins, blackberries, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, warm cider, apple pies, butternut squash… it’s surely the best time of year for food?! Except Christmas, I guess. But it’s close!
One of the many fruits that’s perfectly in season at this time of year, are damsons. They’re similar to plums, just a little smaller, with a really intense purple skin and tart, sour flavour. The greengrocers are full of them right now – so I thought I’d take the opportunity to make a stash of damson jam.
Damson jam recipe
- 1.2kg unstoned damsons
- 0.8kg sugar
- 150g water
- Wash the damsons then add to a large pan, along with the water.
- Bring the water to a gentle boil, then add the sugar.
- Stir the mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved.
- As the damsons start to soften, gently squash them with a wooden spoon to release the stones.
- Remove all of the stones from the mixture using a spoon.
- If the sugar has now completely dissolved, bring the mixture to a more rapid boil.
- Use a jam thermometer to monitor the temperature of the mixture. As soon as it reaches 104C (219F), remove from the heat and leave to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- After 10-15 minutes, pour the jam into sterilised glass jars (it will still be very hot, so be careful). Firmly secure the lids, then leave to cool completely. The jam should keep for a good 6 months unopened, if stored in a cool, dark cupboard. Once opened, store in the fridge and eat within 6-8 weeks.
This damson jam is SO good. It tastes amazing spread generously onto a chunky piece of fresh bread, or stirred into a bowl of warm porridge. It’s really easy to scale up the recipe to make loads of jars of it too. You can then either keep them in your cupboard for the months to come, or use them as gifts. Autumn food at it’s finest!