Wednesday 7 September 2011

On the go at the moment.

The Damsons I picked a couple of weeks ago are now back out of the freezer and soaking delectably in their Gin bath, ready to make Damson Gin and Damson Gin Jam.


450g Damsons
170g Sugar
750ml Gin

If your Damsons are freshly picked, prick each one a couple of times with a pin, (if you freeze them for about 2 weeks first you can omit this stage, just thaw them out overnight before you use them, this will weaken the skins nicely for you).  Put all the ingredients into a large container, and shake or stir each day for about 2 weeks. 

 Leave steeping for about 4 - 6 weeks and then taste, add more sugar if you  want it sweeter and leave for another week.  Strain into sterilised bottles and store in a dark, cool place until you want to drink it.

The longer you leave this gorgeous mixture the stronger and better the flavour.  It makes wonderful Christmas gifts and now would be the time to start making it for then, so the flavours have lots of time to mature.

Do not throw away the strained Damsons.

Use them to make Damson Gin Jam, place them in a pan with an equal amount in weight of sugar and a dash of lemon juice, boil until you reach setting point (skimming off the stones as they float to the surface) and then bottle in sterilised jars

This is our favourite jam ever, deliciously alcohol/fruity tasting (even though most of the alcohol will have actually been cooked off in the boiling stage).  Waste not want not, last year when we had the Kune Kunes they even ate the damson stones and spent the afternoon snoring away in their pig ark very happily.  This year I will have to just pop them in the compost bin, so nothing is wasted. 

Yesterday I made Pears in Brandy Syrup, another yummy treat for over the cold winter months.

Simply poach pears in a medium sugar solution until they are soft, and then pop into sterilised jars with a bit of the cooking liquid, then top up the jars with Brandy.  Seal and leave in a dark cupboard for as long as you can bear for the flavour of the Brandy to seep into the pears.  Once opened (if you don't eat them all at once) store in the fridge. 

 It makes a wonderful simple pudding for a dinner party with a scoop of good ice cream and a sprig of mint for decoration, or a decadent everyday pudding for me and Lovely Hubby !!

Sue xx


  1. Hi Sue
    I'm surprised you have time for blogging with your busy life but thanks so much for the encouragement.
    I bought a load of damsons at the car boot last week and we ate them just as they were. Now, after reading this post I am hoping the stall holder will have more this week as I am going to try the damson gin jam, sounds delicious.


  2. Ooooh Sue,feeling a bit tipsy just reading your post(i'm not a drinker)!!! (i'm not truthfully)!!!
    I have to agree with the previous comment,How Do You Fit It All In???,Hope your backs a little better today,
    Take Care&Best Wishes

  3. I love all this preserving going in blogland! I have made sloe gin and more blackberry and wild plum jam, elderflower kir royale and I am tempted to keep going - there just aren't enough hours in the day! Your pears would make a really lovely gift so might try. thanks.

  4. Soaking in a gin bath? Sounds like some people I know!!
    Jane x

  5. according to the bbc today, a small glass of gin [damson or plain] each night will help a woman in her 50s [me] to live longer. I wont tell you what my husband said when I told him of this!!!!


  6. Oooo can I come and live at your house this winter please !!

  7. The trouble with Damson or Sloe gin is I can't stop drinking it!

    Sft x

  8. Hi Sue, great blogging as usual,especially this time of year with all the lovely orchard fruits available. I have made 10 jars of damson jam this week and would like to try damson gin with the rest of the damsons which I have frozen (another 5lbs). At what point would you remove the stones? Is it when theyve thawed out before mixing with the gin and sugar or is it after this but prior to bottling? I would appreciate your advice. Kind regards, Lynda.

  9. Lynda, if you are following on to make Damson Gin Jam, you skim off the stones as they float to the surface when the jam is bubbling away.

    If you are just making the Damson Gin you remove the whole Damsons and strain just the liquid into bottles.

    Sue xx

  10. Thanks for the advice Sue. I will let you know how it turns out!!Regards, Lynda x


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