Damson Jam – Jelly
STOP THE CAR! my husband shouts, we stop, and he bounds out like a excited child. What? – its damsons Shauna…. damsons! damsons. Ok… saying it over and does not make me know what it is.
Damsons are a small fruit with a dark blue skin and a strong sour flavour. They are very similar to plums, however are a member of the rose family. They are beautiful fruit with a large stone and are very juicy, but don’t eat them raw as you will get a shock (like I did) as they are very tart! – yes i spat it out.
My husband Adrian is English, when younger he used to go out picking wild fruit from the trees, and his mother and grandmother would make great jams – once finished picking the fruit, he would often jump over the fence and pick the snow peas in the fields. Tasmania has an abundance of English fruit trees due to the history of convict settlement, for those that don’t know the English settled in Tasmania or “Van Diemen’s Land” in 1803 bringing with them the love of all things English.
When out and about we constantly forage for hedge row fruits, berry’s and edibles, and these little beauty’s were picked in late autumn and strangely were not eaten by birds…. perhaps they have the same taste buds as me.
Like most, I wasn’t sure how to make the Jelly but this recipe helped quite a bit-
I have to say I do love this blog – http://www.cygnetkitchen.co.uk/2014/09/14/wild-damson-jelly/
I did make some adjustments –
- I boiled the fruit with the stones in. Trying to remove them will drive you wild.
- The fruit was very ripe. For great jellys and jams you need allot of pectin, this occurs with fruit that is slightly under ripe, as the fruit ages the pectin decreases. To resolve this commercial pectin can be added. Or lemon juice. I used the the pectin.
The result – One of the BEST and versatile jams I have even made. With a deep rich dark flavour and colour, it truly is a sexy jam!! Since then have used the jelly in crumbles, pies, cakes…… the list goes on, but best of all is making it into BBQ sauce!
I have to say I made quite a few jars of “hot dam BBQ sauce” and it was a hit! Using smoked chillies, onion, garlic, tomato sauce, apple vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt- pepper and celery seeds. But really you can shake it up and make any BBQ sauce you want…. just remove the sugar component and add the damson jelly. Easy as! Below is an example I found on the internet, please note this is not my cooking tutorial, well not yet anyway.