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Recipe for Damson Jam.


September is the best time to pick the Damsons, picking only the softer ones. The smaller harder damsons will not be so sweet! This will fill approx. six jars.


For this recipe you will need:


4lb Damsons.

4lb Granulated Sugar.

1 1/2 pints water.

A dinner plate left in the fridge to cool.


Preparation:


Take all the stalks off the damsons and wash them carefully. You can cut them in half and take out the stones OR you can leave the stones in whilst cooking. After adding the sugar the stones will float to the top and so can be easily removed with a slotted spoon!!


Prepare your jars: you will need a minimum of six empty jars (depending on their size) with lids. Ensure they are clean and sterilised. Warm in an oven on about 100 degrees C or keep in very hot water until needed.


Making:


Put the damsons into a large pan and cook on a medium heat until all the damsons are soft and cooked.


Turn  up the heat a little and gently add all the sugar a bit at a time until it is all dissolved.


If you have left the stones in then now is the time to remove all the stones with a slotted spoon and discard them.


Bring the fruit to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally and let the fruit simmer for about 10-12 minutes. Do not feel tempted to increase the heat to boil quickly. The key is a gentle rolling boil. If any froth appears then remove it with a large spoon.



After the 10 to 12 minutes test the jam for setting. Place a small amount of jam on the plate taken out of the fridge. Leave for a few minutes and then tilt the plate and the jam should crinkle and not run. If the jam is still runny then boil gently for a further 2 minutes. Test again.


When you are satisfied that it is now ready remove from hob and allow to cool a little.


Remove a jar at a time from the hot water and dry with a clean tea towel and immediately fill up with the cooled jam (use a plastic jug to pour it into the jars). Just place the lid on top of the jar but do not screw on or tighten yet - this stops any dust etc from going into the jam whilst cooling.


Leave the jars for a few hours to cool down.  Later, whilst still a little warm screw down the tops, no too tightly but airtight! Whilst now leaving to cool down completely there will be a vacuum formed inside the jar and this help to preserve the jam for a very long time!!


Label the jars and store in a cool place ready for use.

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