Damson Jam, thought by many to be one of the finest
jams, is an easy one to make if a little fiddly at
times during its' preparation.
Damsons are a small variety of plum, dark blue in
colour with a bloom and slightly pointed at one end,
which ripens in late
August-September. It is easy to grow, the most well known
variety being Farleigh Damson. The trees can
be purchased from outlets that keep more than the common
garden centre varieties. Try Perryhill
Nurseries of Hartfield
Nursery of West Farleigh if you want your
When you've picked the damsons, put them in
a bowl and cover with cold water to wash them. De-stalk any
which still have stalks and discard any shrivelled or damaged
fruits. I run a knife around each fruit to slit the skin
and allow the
of the stone during cooking.
Put the measured fruit and water in the pan
and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. A little more water
if needed, to
stop the fruit from burning.
Stir in the sugar which will disolve easily. Boil
the jam as quickly as possible without it frothing over.
You will find the stones rise to the surface of the bubbling
jam rising with the heat currents in the pan. Skim off
damson stones as they rise to the surface, partly with a
slotted spoon and later with a wooden spoon when you get
down to the last few stones.
Test for setting point at intervals
after 10 minutes fast boiling and then pot and cover in
suitable sterilised jam jars.