A damson treat in October’s kitchen

We had a visit from the Damson fairy this week! I think word has spread in the village that we’ve had a terrible crop from our fruit trees (apart from the pear tree!) this year so we’ve had several offers of apples and plums and a very welcome bowl of damsons left on our doorstep whilst we were out.

I wasn’t sure whether to make a batch of damson gin or not but then I found this old recipe for a jam that I haven’t made for a while so out came the jam pan again this week!

I’m saving a jar for our damson fairy so let me know and I’ll pop one over!

Damson Jam

This is a great jam to make with damsons as you don’t have to worry about the stones or the skins – it’s not too sharp and has a lovely creamy texture.

You can make it with any amount of damsons and half the amount of apples.

Makes about 4 large jars. Takes about an hour

1kg damsons

500g cooking apples

¼l water

Around 1kg granulated sugar – weight is the same as the cooked fruit puree

Sterilised jars and lids or covers

Saucer in the freezer for testing for set


  • Wash the damsons and take off the stalks and put in your jam pan
  • Pour in the water and bring to the boil
  • While the water’s heating up core and chop your apples into smallish chunks, leaving the skin on
  • Damson & apple jam - mix the apples into the damsons
  • Add the apples to the damson and bring to a gentle boil then simmer for around 20 minutes until the stones are leaving the damsons and the apple is mushy
  • Ladle the fruit in batches into a metal sieve (not a very fine one) and press through to make a puree leaving the skins and stones behind.
  • Damson & apple jam - push through a sieve
  • Weigh the fruit puree and pour back into your jam pan then add in the same amount of sugar.
  • Damson & Apple jam Add the sugar
  • Stir over a gentle heat until the sugar is dissolved then bring to a higher boil.
  • Bubble away, stirring every now and again for about 15 minutes then test for set – I put a teaspoon of jam on a frozen saucer, leave for a minute then push my finger through the jam. If it wrinkles it’s set. If not put back on the heat and try after a few more minutes. Always turn the heat off whilst you test for set or the jam will overcook and be too hard.
  • Pot up into your warm jars and cover immediately.
  • Leave to cool then label and store in a cool dark place.


This is just perfect with some crusty, granary bread but it works really well with a baked apple.