Friday, 4 September 2009

Seasonal Recipe of the Week

Three ways with Damsons

Damsons are in season at the moment. If you grow them, don't leave them lying around for the wasps to eat, gather them up and make preserves and puddings. You can even freeze them to use at a later date, just make sure you discard any bad or badly bruised ones, wash them thoroughly and dry them with a clean dish towel, they are now ready to put into freezer bags, and label.

You will also find them in supermarkets and at local farmers markets.

Damson Recipes

Damson Jam
Damson Cobbler
Spicy Damson Chutney

Damson Jam


1 kg ripe Damsons
1 kg granulated sugar

Wash the Damsons and stone them.

Place the Damsons in a heavy based pan on a moderate heat and sprinkle on the sugar. Add very little water to prevent burning.

As soon as the sugar dissolves and the juice runs freely, boil up as fast as possible until it sets. This should not take too long as Damsons contain a lot of Pectin(which sets the jam).

Pour into warmed jars, seal, and when cool, label and store in a cool place.

Damson Cobbler


For the Damsons

1 kg Damsons, washed and stoned
100 g caster sugar

For the Cobbler

80 g cold butter
200g self raising flour
100 g caster sugar
150ml milk

50 g jumbo oats
1 tbsp clear honey

Preheat the oven to 190C/ Gas 5

Place the Damsons in a deep ovenproof dish and sprinkle with 100 g of sugar. Place in the oven whilst you make the Cobbler.

Cube the cold butter and place in a large bowl with the flour. Rub in to the consistency of breadcrumbs and stir in the sugar. Gradually add the milk to form a soft dough.

Remove the fruit from the oven and place on spoonfuls of the dough mixture to cover the top.

Mix the oats and honey together and dot it over the top of the cobbler.

Return the dish to the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden and the fruit bubbling.

Serve warm with custard.

Spicy Damson Chutney


500 g Damsons, cleaned, stoned and chopped
100 g brown sugar
100 g onion, finely chopped
100 g raisins, chopped
25 g salt
75 g garlic, finely chopped
50 g English mustard
2 heaped tsp Cayenne Pepper
Red wine vinegar

Stew the damsons in enough vinegar to cover, add the sugar. Mix the Cayenne with the onion, garlic, raisins, salt and mustard and add the mixture to the fruit, stir well. Allow to stand, covered, overnight. Pour into small jars , seal and label and store in a cool place.

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