My mother in law gave me this recipe for making a great larder stocker. It keeps for up to 2 years, is very quick & easy, and uses up about 5lb of damsons per pot.
Damsons must be the most undervalued fruit out; the flavour is stunning, its just the annoying stones that put us off.
Here in West Kent the hedgerows have lots of damson trees brimming with fruit for us to use, lovely!
You need per damson pot:
- A large stoneware jar (you could use a demi john instead, and transfer later to wide rimmed pots, so a small ladle can retrieve the fruit). Make sure its clean and rinse with boiling water before use.
- Up to 5 lb damsons (washed and checked as good fruit)
- As much granulated sugar as you need, probably 3 ½ lb for 5lb of fruit
- A wine glassful of brandy
What to do:
- Layer the pot with damsons then sugar then damsons then sugar right the way up to the top.
- Warm in a very low heat oven for about 3 hours.
- Check to see if the sugar has dissolved. If not, retain the fruit and pour the juice & sugar into a pan and heat until dissolved – this is a bit of a fag but worth it – and then put everything back into the original pot. (Alternatively, use a demijohn, and keep rotating the jar daily until the sugar has dissolved and THEN add the brandy).
- Allow to cool.
- Add the brandy so that the floating fruit is covered, cover the jar tightly, eg with cling film and again with some brown paper, and place in a dark cupboard until Christmas Day.
This makes a lovely gift for the elderly who like a no effort pudding on tap, and the brandy is hardly noticeable. The fruit obviously still has the stones to beware of.
One thing, some seasons the pot develops a hard layer of (safe) mould over the fruit, just remove it and keep using the contents, there’s no taste alteration.
There’s always too much ‘juice’ which is fantastic over roast lamb, or added to any gravy
And, if you still have left over juice, add it to equal quantities of any spirit (we use brandy or gin normally) in a small bottle for a winter warmer on the golf course.
I’ve got loads, around 25kg, of Mirabelles (it’s been a fantastic prunus year here in sunny Suffolk, UK) which I picked earlier this summer and stored in the freezer. They’ve been waiting for just this recipe. Hopefully they won’t be too soft after defrosting, but what the heck, if they are, I’ll jam/jelly/chutney/ferment them. Best thing about this recipe is that there’s no need to de-stone them…Fangs.
“the brandy is hardly noticeable” ????
Where’s the fun in that, then?
Has anyone tried this yet? If so what are your comments? I have several damson trees and would like to try but would like some feedback from anyone that has tried this already before I commit. Thanks