Fruit picking at Hollow Meadow
We are lucky to have a beautiful row of damson trees which run down the centre of our park.
Damsons are a small fruit with A dark blue skin, they are similar to plums and a member of the rose family. If eaten raw they are mouth-dryingly sour and not pleasant at all. Their moment of glory comes when they are cooked, the heat drawing the juice out of the dusky skins and with it the most extraordinary depth of flavour.
- 1 kg damsons (before stoning)
- 800g granulated sugar (no need to use preserving sugar)
- Pick over the fruit to remove any twigs etc, and give them a quick rinse.
- You can either stone the damsons straight away, or stew them over a low heat until the fruit is softened and you can pick the stones out. Or you can leave the stones in, make sure you warn everyone who eats it and play a game of ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor‘ over breakfast.
- Put the fruit in a large pan – or leave it there if you have already stewed it – then add the sugar. Bring very slowly to a simmer, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Put a saucer in your freezer ready to test for a set. Put your recently-washed jam jars in the oven and set the oven to 160C / Gas Mark 3. Cover the jam jar lids in boiling water.
- Bring the damsons and sugar the boil and boil rapidly until the setting point is reached.
- To test for set, put a small drop of jam on the cold saucer and wait a few seconds. If the jam wrinkles when you push it with your finger, it’s ready to pot up.
- Take the jam jars from the oven and dry the jam jar lids with a clean tea towel. Pour the hot jam into the jars straight away, and put the lids on the jars whilst everything is still hot.
- Give the jars a wipe to rid of any sticky spillage on the outside, dry and label up.
Then we like to give a complimentary pot to our lovely cottage guests.
If jam’s not your thing then try making damson gin or damson vodca!