Yesterday while clearing out the kitchen cupboards (yes.....I'm still doing it,. but notice on this photo the now cleared worktop) I came across one and a half bottles of Brandy, just the cheapo stuff nothing to get too excited about, then I found some empty bottles, remembering that I had two 2kg bags of our very own Damsons lurking somewhere in the depths of the big chest freezer, some sugar in the cupboard and empty jam jars rinsed out after making the cakes last week I suddenly had a brainwave.
Why pack all these things up individually when I can condense them all into just the bottles and jars, so this morning, once the Damsons have thawed out they will be left to steep in the brandy in my trusty big plastic containers and then bottled up as Damson Brandy the week we move, the Damsons left over from this will be turned into Damson Brandy Jam a slight variation on Lovely Hubby favourite ever jam Damson Gin Jam. Although I will have to make this in pretty small batches as I've packed away the jam pans!!
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750ml Gin (or in this case Brandy)
If your Damsons are freshly picked, prick each one a couple of times with a pin, (if you freeze them for 2 weeks or longer 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.
Do NOT throw away the strained Damsons.
Use them to make Damson Brandy 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.
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We drank only one of our bottles of Damson Gin over Christmas, it was absolutely gorgeous. We are saving the other three for when our best friends come for supper next week, it should be a very nice final meal together here before we move.
So another busy day ahead.