Damson Jam Recipe

damson jam

This Damson Jam Recipe is easy to make as damsons have loads of pectin and enough acid for a good set.

Ingredients for Damson Jam:

  • 4 lbs (1.8 kg) damsons
  • ¼ pint (145 ml) water
  • 4 lbs (1.8 kg) sugar

Method for Damson Jam:

  1. Wash and wipe the damsons. Pick over to remove stalks.
  2. Put into a pan with the water and simmer gently until the fruit is soft, occasionally pressing the damsons against the sides of the pan to break open and release the stones.
  3. Remove the stones.
  4. Test for pectin.
  5. Add the sugar, stirring until it has dissolved.
  6. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 10 minutes until the jam sets when tested.
  7. Remove the remainder of the stones as they rise to the surface.
  8. Remove the scum.
  9. Pot and seal while still hot.

Makes around 6lbs (2.7 kgs) of jam.

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Posted in Val's Preserves, Jams, Fruit, Vegetarian Recipes, Damsons, All Recipes
171 comments on “Damson Jam Recipe
  1. Gill says:

    I have lots of sloe trees in my garden and everyear make copious amounts of sloe gin and sloe vodka. Seeing the Damson jam recipe made me think, can you make jam from sloes, I know they are very “dry” and take the enamel off your teeth when eaten raw, but, surely there is something else to do with them.

  2. topsy says:

    I think sloes are rather small for jam making (much better to use for gin vodka etc) but I made some sloe gin jelly last year (after I’d had enough of making all the other things) and it is fabulous!

  3. Sue B says:


    An old hand in the Lake District told me the best Damson jam still has stones in. So I always leave a few. My friends fight over my jam so it must work!

  4. Annette says:

    @Jo Wetherall: I’d leave the stones in most ‘stoned fruit’ becuase some of the pectin is in or around the stones (I think)… it’s also usually a bit easier to remove the stones when the flesh has softened in the cooking process – I also use a spoon to ‘fish’ the stones out of the pan.

  5. John Hart says:

    Do damsons need to be ripe for jam making?

  6. julie says:

    fab fab fab – jam looks yummy thank you will be back to this site soon thanks you xx

  7. Iain says:

    First attempt at damson jam cooling off in the garage, smells lush, can’t wait to try it!! fab website, looking for next recipe, still got 10lb of damson left, do they make good wine???

  8. Julie says:


    I’ve cooked down my damsons, strained all the stones and skin (I dont like jam with bits in it!) and ready to add the sugar, but do I need to weigh what is left in the pan again or just add like for like of original weight of fruit to sugar?

  9. doglady says:

    Great site and forum, joined today….
    I made Damson Jam today and it turned out great but it had a little sharp after taste, have no idea why?
    2lbs Fruit to 1and half pounds sugar, lemon juice and a little water. All done in the Micro and it’s the same principle as the Greengage Jam I made.
    It worked well. However as I said a slight sharp taste….it will still be used though – my hubby loves anything I make, aren’t I lucky…lol..

  10. molly! says:

    I’m making this recipe at home any one have any tips? thxx

  11. majec says:

    Great site I’ve just joined today–.
    I’m house sitting for a friend for one month, the house has 15 acres of land with lots of fruit trees and veg. I love to cook, but I’ve never made jam. Today I went and picked plums and damsons, I wanted a simple recipe and saw your site. I followed your recipe on Damson Jam and plum Jam, I can’t believe how well it all went, it tastes so nice I feel so proud of myself, thank-you for your easy recipe.

  12. doglady says:

    I tried one of my Damsons and it tasted fine, some were soft and others were not so soft but the taste was ok…so am I thinking that Damson Jam really needs to made with ripe fruit rather than nearly ripe?.
    It is still a sweet Jam but a little sharpe after taste.

  13. Heather says:

    Great recipe, first time jam making and turned out great. Good site thanks

  14. Gloria says:

    @Mrs Denise Davis: Help please.
    I have just made damson jam by the book and it has not set properly, any advice

  15. Anna says:

    This looks like a great recipe and I have just been given a huge bag of damsons in return for the two small figs from my urban fig. My question is, I only have a copper unlined preserving pan, picked up for a song years ago, will it flavour the jam? Can anyone advise?

  16. WENDY says:

    Hi Jo, I to have used the kernal’s from the stones, I have never done this before, so I am looking forward to trying my Damson jam when it’s cool. It’s a very fiddly but satisfiying job!

  17. Jayne says:

    I have lived in my house for 25 years with a Damson tree hidden behind a shed at the bottom of the garden.Through out the years I have raised three children with no thought of the damson tree, until this year! Gathering the damsons and finding your easy to follow recipe I set to work, after a fiddly job I produced 6lb of yummy jam, I was so chuffed I gave 4 jars away (just to show off) so I have gathered the remaining dasoms from the tree and now am off to the kitchen to make some more! Thank you.

  18. Adrian says:

    Is Damson size important – currently about 20mm length / 15mm diameter

  19. lesley says:

    Has anyone got a good recipe for diabetic damson jam?
    I’ve got loads of damsons and want to make some jam for my husband.

  20. Jana says:

    Hi there, fab site. I am a total novice at making jam. I have a lots of damsons and would like to try to make jam but I don’t quite understand about pectin.. Do I have to add it (if yes, how much?) or do damsons have pectin? Thanks for your help, Jana

  21. Noreen says:

    Damsons have plenty of pectin so you don’t need to add any. Very easy jam to make- good luck! (I’ve just made 4lbs and its yummy.)

  22. Helen Simmons says:

    First time I’ve made proper jam, got damsons off a tree growing next to parking area by my home. Easy recipe and looking forward to eating on home made scones with fresh whipped cream! This website is going to be a favourite and I am passing it on to my fellow allotmenteers.

  23. Debbie says:

    Have just removed the damsons from last years damson gin (in order to start again with this years crop) can these fruits be used to make jam or some kind of preserve?

  24. Steve Harford says:

    I have been having great fun making all sorts of damson goodies from chutney to vodka and jam.
    I would now like to pass on a tip to make your damsons go even further:
    When you have emptied your preserving pan or whatever (incidentally I sieve my stones through a plastic colander) add a little water to the remaining juices, stones etc and scrape all the goodness into the water. Remove any stones, then stir the remaining mixture and put into ice lolly moulds. Freeze overnight and you have the most amazing lolly packed full of goodness. You can also make the best sorbet with this or even heat up the mixture for a very satisfying fruit tea. All from what you would normally wash down the sink.

  25. Jean Pleming says:

    I have just received 5 lbs of bullace. What proportion of sugar should there be to a pound of fruit when making jam?
    Jean P

  26. Mel says:

    I recently learned an excellent way to remove stones from damsons… Wash and spread evenly on baking sheet, pop in oven (GM3 or about 140c) for 10 min. Remove from oven and the stones pop right out with gentle pressure. Yay!

  27. linda says:

    I have 6 lb of frozen weight damsons – was given them frozen so not sure of actual weight, how much sugar should I use to make jam?

  28. Trev says:

    Just picked a carrier bag full of damsons and am going to give your damson jam recipe a go. One quick question though. Is the 4lbs weight of damsons before or after the stones are removed?

  29. Yvonne says:

    Made 6 pots this morning, very tasty, boiled for exactly 10 minutes and it was set beautifully.

  30. Yvonne says:

    6 pots of Damson Jam sorry

  31. Yvonne says:

    Damsons make brilliant wine I have got two gallons on the go now.

  32. angie says:

    I have had a large quantity of damsons given to me but I am just of on hols and want to freeze them to make jam when I get back, does anyone know if I have to cook them or can I just freeze them as they are.

  33. Val says:

    If you’re going to use them fairly soon after getting back off holiday, there is no need to cook them. Just bung them in the freezer in a carrier bag. Do remember to tip them out of the bag before they defrost though!

  34. angie says:

    Thanks Val@Val:

  35. Richie says:

    Hi, many thanks for this incredibly easy to follow recipe, it was the first time I’ve ever made jam, and it’s turned out superb, I can’t help looking for more trees, I think my one has been all picked out! If I do find another, I’m going to try my hand at Damson vodka!! Cheers

  36. Helb says:

    Hi, I have damsons in the freezer from last year. My two questions are; 1. Do they need to be washed when they come out of the freezer as they were not when put in, and 2. Is it really necessary to defrost them before make damson jelly with them, would you not just use less water?

  37. Julie says:

    @alisha rowton:

    So long as you seal the jam pots as soon as you have made it, with the wax circle you would put on the top of the jam, it will last a long while until you open it again. We are still using some of last years jam. Obviously once opened for use, it will mould after a while if you don’t use it up. I have made a lot of jam this year including rhubarb and strawberry, rhubarb and raspberry, red currant blackcurrant gooseberry (I only had a small crop of each so made a mixed jam which was delicious) blackcurrant, apple and raspberry to name but a few.

  38. kate says:


    I have 7lb of damsons, can I do them all in one go? Also how much sugar should I use?

  39. Donald Farms says:

    Having been given 3lb damsons, I “googled” and came up with this great site.
    I found a recipe for jam, and followed it carefully – except I was making half the quantity. By mistake, I put in the full amount of water. However, I continued with the process. I was using a sugar thermometer, with jam setting point marked. As it reached 100, I duly set my timer for 10 mins, as per recipe. Less than 2 mins later, jam setting point was reached. What to do, as someone had written that their jam took 20 mins?!!!! I “believed” the thermometer, and have 4 jars of beautifull set jam.
    The other 1lb is at the start of a vodka liquier. Thanks to those who take the bother of putting their recipes on here.

  40. Kirsten says:

    Fantastic website, Thank you Val and everyone else for recipes and tips. Just made Damson gin, damson vodka and green tomato chutney (one jar almost gone already) such easy recipes and delicious results. Going to try the damson jam making this week 🙂

  41. Weeke Farm says:

    Perfect damson jam recipe with a beautiful set. Thank you.

    I had no problems getting all of the stones out and was glad I counted them in and out!

    Damson gin and damsons with greek yoghurt are a firm favourite in our household 🙂

  42. BARBARA says:


  43. Harvey says:

    I removed my damsons from the freezer yesterday and after thawing out, made jam to-day; and it’s fine. I’ve used frozen fruit before – when we moved house – it was easier to make 36 pots of jam, from fruit which had been in the freezer for 2 – 3 years and transport it thus, than in the frozen state. Also, made good plum wine after 12 months in the freezer.

  44. Tim says:

    @Sarah: I use greaseproof paper – tear off a strip ans fold it over as many times as you need, then draw a circle using say a glass of suitable size and then cut a whole heap in one go. Cheap and quick
    to do

  45. Sylvia Willcox says:

    Just about to make Damson jam for the first time, I have some preserving sugar but will need more, as I have lots of damsons to use, can I use granulated sugar.

  46. Val says:

    I always use ordinary granulated sugar in Damson Jam.

  47. paula says:

    Well have never made jam ever, my Dad gave me some damsons last night and have already made the jam with this recipe. How easy it was, some of the other recipes said to take the stones out first, tried that for about 10 minutes what a faff much easier to take them out while cooking, will be making this again.

  48. Sara says:

    Brilliant recipe – thank you! Four pounds damsons (three and a half without stones), three and a half pounds of ordinary granulated sugar. It set in 12 minutes, and is delicious.
    A tip for jams that don’t set well, for those who dislike the idea of artificial pectin. Keep a box for citrus pips in the freezer. Every time you squeeze a lemon or an orange add the pips to the box. When cooking eg strawberries or apricots for jam put the saved pips in a muslin bag and cook them with the fruit, as one does for marmalade. This will help setting without spoiling the taste. Then throw the pips away and carry on with the second stage.
    The pips keep perfectly in the freezer, though not in the fridge. I was taught this by a brilliant cook in Greece.

  49. Jill says:

    Please could someone help me I’ve been given lots of damsons and asked if I could make a diabetic Jam from them, how would I do this? I’ve only ever made jam using sugar! thanks x

  50. Bev says:

    Have just made damson jam. Fantastic can’t wait for breakfast!!!!!

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