Damson jam was always a great favourite of mine as a child. My school friends and I used to collect damsons every year in a field near the old castle in Cullohill. First we ate so many we almost burst – the rest we brought home for mummy to make into jam.
Pick over the fruit carefully, wash and drain well and discard any damaged ones. Put the damsons and water into a greased stainless steel preserving pan and stew them gently until the skin breaks. Heat the sugar in a moderate oven (160°C/325°F/Gas 3), add it to the fruit and stir over a gentle heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil steadily, stirring frequently. Skim off the stones and scum as they rise to the top. Test for a set after 15 minutes boiling. Pour into warm sterilized jars and cover. Store in a cool dry place.
© 2001 Darina Allen. All rights reserved.