October 5, 2009

Spicy Damson Jam

Amp15, October 4, in Playing With Your Food forum

In Denmark the wild damsons are ripe now, and yesterday I made a couple of pounds of my special jam. Over the years I’ve made it with any member of the Prunus (stone fruit) family from sour cherries, over peaches, plums, fresh prunes, and damson, to the bitter sloe. They have all tasted great, but the cinnamon rather spoil the delicate colour of for example green gages and peaches, so now I tend to make it only with dark fruits, and of those I best like the wild damson from the hedges around the farms. The resulting jam is very intense and not too sweet, and I use it as well to serve with for example roast duck and cold meats, as on toast and in desserts.

1 pound wild damsons,
0.5 cup water,
1-2 cup sugar,
2 tsp cinnamon,
1 tsp vanilla sugar,
0.5 tsp ginger,
1 tiny nip of cloves.

Start by putting a plate in the fridge.

Check the fruit for mold and signs of worm, rinse, and boil in the water until the skin disintegrates and the stones let go of the flesh. Pour the fruit through a colander into a bowl (or just skim the floating stones of the pulp in the pot). Move the stones around with a big spoon to press as much skin and flesh into the bowl as possible. Return the mush to the pot, and add the sugar, but taste before you add all of it, Now boil until a bit of jam dripped onto the cold plate in the fridge do not run after it’s cooled completely. Add the spices, and taste to see if you want to add more, as spices lose their potency over time. Pour into small clean jars, and close them.

If made with peaches (cut in quarters, but boil the stones along)or very sweet plums you might want to use the smallest amount of sugar, and in that case an opened jar must be kept in the fridge.