five ways with… a ton of damsons

October 15, 2009 at 12:18 pm 16 comments

damsons branch by shed 16-8-09*Not literally a ton of damsons… 1% of a ton in fact.  But it’s a ton of work picking, stoning and preserving  10 kilos of damsons.  Don’t let that put you off if you spot a tree though, they’re well worth the effort.  I’ll post full recipe details shortly but in the meantime here’s my Times on-line style ‘5 ways with …‘ spotlight on damsons.  Drum roll please, in order of success and recommendation here are my tried and tested

5 ways with … damsons
(quantities here are the amounts I used not the amounts you need to have!)

dambeena 4kg of damsons boiled and strained to make 3.5 litres of Pam Corbin’s dambeena cordial.  Unlike other cordials or jellies the leftover fruit pulp can be saved to make a delicious pie filling, a hot sauce to pour over ice-cream or mixed with double cream.  4kg of fruit pulp after straining and removing the stones produced 4 jam jars of puree. Damson cordial side view

damson jam 1.1kg made about 6 jars of jam.  I was thrilled to bits with how tasty my first ever jam making attempt turned out and it was given a big thumbs up by our visitors last week.  Hints of citrus and cinnamon intesified the flavour of the damsons beautifully.  (click here for recipe)Damson jam - close up

damson muffins I found this recipe in a copy of Waitrose Food magazine from September 2007 (thanks for letting me pinch it Lei).  It uses oil and yoghurt instead of butter and the damsons cook beautifully added raw to the sugared cake mix.  I had a wonderful assistant for this batch of baking but you’ll have to wait to find out who…  (update: damson muffins recipe here)damson muffins cut up *

damson chutney 1.35kg of damsons made into a dozen 110ml jars of Delia’s spiced damson chutney.  It cooks down to a very soft jam like consistency and is delicately spiced with cloves, all spice and ginger.  (click here for recipe)damson chutney_spooned

freezing damsons to delay decision making about other recipes to try!  3kg, about 10 litres, de-stoned while watching a film with George (be warned it’ll take about 40 minutes per kilo and requires a big dose of patience and a not easily irritated husband!).  I’ve still got purple stained fingers and a sore thumb so I’d recommend wearing latex gloves for this.  Damsons - 10 litre*

bottling damsons 1.2kg bottled in syrup.  I used kilner jars and wasn’t convinced that the seals were airtight because drops of liquid kept seaping out of the side and puddling on the worktop for about a week after.  Initially I I thought it was fermenting (suspicious looking bubbles at the top of the jar) but it seems to have dried off now and the bubbles have gone.  If I bottled fruit again I’d use jam jars and I can’t really vouch for the success of this method yet.  At least there shouldn’t be any bacteria in the jar as I topped them off with spoonful of cherry brandy.damsons in syrup

If you thought you’d spotted a deliberate mistake there with 6 options I don’t  think ‘freezing‘ really qualifies as a recipe!   I’m not really advocating bottling either so I actually need to offer you one more don’t I?  How about an alternative use for damson jam and a swirly dance with some cream to make  Steve Parle’s perfect damson ripple ice-cream.  Summer sunshine and melting ice creams may be long forgotten but don’t you just want to lean in and give this a lick!   Steve Parle's damson ice creamSteve Parle is a former River Cafe cook and writes food posts for the Observer Organic Allotment blog. I’ve not made Steve’s ice-cream yet so this is his blog photo not mine.

Entry filed under: 5 ways with ..., allotment tales, in the kitchen. Tags: , , , .

surprise autumn strawberries sunflower art to brighten up the garden

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mangocheeks  |  October 15, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Your foraging is really working out. I want to go where you go, can I come along next time….I know I would be welcome, just the distance….boo hoo

    • 2. Nip it in the bud  |  October 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm

      I’m spoilt MC, there are two trees on my plot, one behind the shed and one to the side of the jerusalem artichokes. You’re welcome to come down next year ;o) there’s more than enough to go around!

  • 3. catloiscat  |  October 15, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    I successfully made damson and bramley apple crumble with some of ‘nip it in the buds’ beautiful damsons yesterday.. it was delicious served with ice cream. had to borrow an oven mind you as mine blew up unfortunately.. x

    • 4. Nip it in the bud  |  October 15, 2009 at 9:44 pm

      hooray, you made it, a bet it was delicious! just think of all those other lovely baked goodies you’ll be able to try when your oven is fixed. I’ll be posting the muffins soon with my mystery guest….

  • 5. Ann  |  October 16, 2009 at 8:22 am

    I love damsons, reminds me of my childhood when we live in Shropshire, there were damson trees everywhere! The Dambeena looks delicious, must try it with plums, haven’t seen any damsons here at all.

  • 6. Jasmin  |  October 18, 2009 at 6:55 am

    Nic,you’re so clever! I can’t believe you’ve never made jam before…truly delicious! x

  • 8. Nic's Husband  |  August 13, 2011 at 10:00 am

    2011 – this year’s update – after 2009’s bumper crop, last year’s damson harvest wasn’t so good, but this year it’s looking promising on the trees. I think they often skip a year like that after a big crop. I pruned the tree in the autumn of 2010 too so that probably helped. I purchased some demi-johns to make rhubarb wine – there’s one empty one which is reserved for damson wine – I’ll ask N to blog about it when it’s done.

  • 9. Oxo Tots baking Granny style | Nip it in the bud  |  September 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    […] usually gathering ingredients for chutney making:  using up a glut of courgettes or beetroot or damsons. With no allotment grown veggies this year I’m using up my preserve stores instead and […]

  • 10. decisions decisions | Nip it in the bud  |  January 16, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    […] me on 73 new posts in 2013, growing my total archive to 440 posts. Not too bad afterall then! And in case you were wondering …5 ways with a ton of damsons is still the most popular post with 8,403 views since it was written in 2009 (click on link below […]

  • 11. Annette  |  September 9, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I use a gadget designed to remove stones from cherries and olives to remove the stones from damsons – it works a treat!

    • 12. Nip it in the bud  |  September 9, 2014 at 12:40 pm

      I’ve been wondering if my cherry pitter would be up to the task (acquired long after I wrote this post). Now I’ve got a toddler there is so much less time for making preserves – damsons bunged in whole to make cordial is about the extent of it!

  • 13. a berry nice bowl | Nip it in the bud  |  September 20, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    […] come to expect nothing less from the Good Grips range. For other great Damson recipes check out 5 ways with a ton of Damsons Disclosure: I was sent the bowl set to review. I was not required to write a positive review and […]

  • 14. recipe for happiness | Nip it in the bud  |  November 20, 2014 at 8:01 am

    […] a strange and curious thing looking at blog stats like that.  By contrast the most popular post, ’5 ways with… a ton of damsons’ has been viewed 13,100 times!  Who are all these people?   I’m obviously not alone in my […]

  • […] five ways with… a ton of damsons […]

  • 16. a forager’s paradise | Nip it in the bud  |  September 13, 2016 at 11:30 am

    […] Damsons: 5 ways with..a ton of damsons (dambeena, muffins, chutney, jam, bottled) […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

About Nip it in the bud

Welcome to my once-about-gardening-and-cooking blog that is now mostly about our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

If you like what you found why not subscribe to email updates

Follow Nip it in the bud on

Blog Stats

  • 445,913 hits



"Mummy take a picture and put it on share.  It's my greatest Mixel yet, he's called Grey" - Euan aged 6. #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog #welovelego The boys are asleep and I'm eagerly awaiting the return of @musicalgeorgemoorey to hear all about the latest #spacesgloucester recording.  His kit is all in the hallway but he is not.  Gone for food I expect, the cats are waiting to pounce on him as soon as he walks through the door (and yet I have fed them, they just love him that much)
#gloucesterlife I'm thinking it's about time I made these brie baked apples with hazelnut crust again.  For a no-added-sugar version you could poach them in fruit juice or herbal tea instead of syrup (recipe on my blog)  #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #bakedapples🍎 L's been pondering what he wants to be when he's older!  #photogridwowcam #gloucesterlife #nipitinthebudblog Billy scratching to be let out and annoy @musicalgeorgemoorey as he records a piano track downstairs for the next #spacesgloucester track.  Billy always wants to get in on the music making but it's especially appropriate this time as the song is based on a poem by 9th century irish monk about his cat Pangur Bahn!  #gloucesterlife #whitelonghairedcat Picnic lunch with our @oxouk measuring cups again.  It seems to make the whole thing about getting toddlers to eat a bit less overwhelming and takes away that adult thing of needing to clear your plate.  We just all have forks and dig in to what takes our fancy.  Yes I have no idea how much L has actually eaten when we do this but I'm learning to trust his little body.  I like the mantra "we choose what he eats, he chooses how much" so as long as I keep offering nourishing food it will all be ok :0). #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #fussytoddler #oxogoodgrips #picnicfood When the chocolate brownies that popped up in your feed are on your mind all morning but you're feeling inspired by your sugar free friend @darojolu you find yourself eating these for elevenses!  Banana and date squidgy oaties, an old recipe from the blog with a new sprinkling of unsweetened cocoa and @pulsinandbeond pea protein.  1 banana made 6 cookies and if we eat them all in one sitting there's absolutely no guilt! #nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #sugarfreekids #sugarfreecooking #pulsinpeaprotein #newblog post - reflecting weekly  on the beauty in every day moments, reasons to be thankful and celebrating small successes with the #myheartylife linky.  More about staying at home with children, decluttering successes and beautiful music on the blog - link in profile.  If you're liking the good cheer of #myheartylife  check out @the_hearty_life who started it all and @mummytodex and @mymamamusings 
#nipitinthebudblog #gloucesterlife #mumbloggeruk #feelingthankful #stayathomemum Loves the park but loves dogs more so kept trying to get out the gate! #parklife #gloucesterlife

Follow me on Twitter

Featured posts elsewhere

A Gardeners Voice Featured Blog!
TOTS 100 - UK Parent Blogs

%d bloggers like this: