Autumn always feel that little bit closer as the fruit in the garden begins to ripen. Plums are amongst the first tree fruit to be ready and this year we have had a good crop. The boughs on the tree have been bending under the weight of the fruit.
I have picked, sliced and frozen kilos of fruit. It makes me feel a little bit like a squirrel getting reading for winter filling up the freezer! It’s a nice job to sit outside when it has been sunny, picking through the plums and washing and drying them.
This year, I have put quite a few bags in the freezer ready to make crumbles or other puddings. It has taken a few hours preparing the fruit but not all made it to the freezer. This particular type of plum is nice to eat fresh and also makes a very good jam. The good thing about this jam recipe is that you don’t need to slice the plums first, the whole lot goes into the pan and the stones are picked out as they float to the surface. Look at all that scrummy sugary mess!
I’ve tried making the jam recipe below with several types of plums as we also have greengages and Victoria plums in the garden. It works well with all of them but damson jam is my favourite.
Recipe for Damson Jam
- 1.8 kg Damsons (or other plums)
- 145 ml Water
- 1.8 kg Sugar
- Wash and wipe the damsons.
- Put in a pan with the water and simmer gently until the fruit is soft, occasionally pressing the damsons against the side of the pan to break open and release the stones.
- Remove the stones as they rise to the top.
- Add the sugar, stirring until it is dissolved and continue to remove stones as they rise to the top.
- Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for about 10 minutes until the jam tests sets when tested. I have found that using a thermometer and waiting until the jam temperature measures 105°C produces the most reliable set of the jam.
- Once the temperature is reached, sift the top of the jam with a slotted spoon to remove the last of the stones and any scum. Pot into clean jam jars and seal while still hot.