I have no idea how long my Damsons have been steeping in the bottle of Gin that I poured over them but I know it has to be well over eight months .... and boy oh boy can you taste it.
It is gorgeous!!
On pouring through a sieve and then through some muslin it filled four of my bottles right to the top with just enough left over to give me a nice little chefs perk :-)
Wash and prick your Damsons (a fiddly job which you don't have to do if you freeze the Damsons for a while first and then thaw them to use for the recipe).
Put the fruit in a large container and add the sugar and gin. Cover with a lid and shake once a day for at least two weeks or until all the sugar has dissolved. Taste after 4 - 6 weeks and add some more sugar if required. Leave for as long as possible. The longer you leave it the stronger it gets.
You can use any kind of sugar and any kind of Gin, I always use the supermarkets cheapest basic or own brand label. This is also delicious using Brandy or Vodka .... I know .... hic ;-)
Then in my usual 'waste not, want not' fashion I tipped all the Damsons into a pan covered with a couple of pints of water and brought it to the boil. I simmered it for about half an hour and then after a fruitless search for my Jelly Bag Stand rigged up this. Pouring the water and fruit through the bag and leaving it all to drain overnight.
Measuring out the liquid I had one pint of luscious Damson juice so I added one pound of my preserving sugar to the liquid I simmered it slowly until all the sugar had dissolved and then brought it all to the boil.
For each pint of liquid add one pound of sugar, or in metric for each 500mls of liquid add 500grams of sugar.
It was kept at a rolling boil for about 10 minutes and then tested on a cold plate for a set.
I did try using my Jam Thermometer .,... but it would seem the mercury has left home!! Another breakage during the move I think. :-(
Then I bottled it all into hot sterilised jars, and left it to cool. It didn't set!! So the next morning I tipped it all back into a pan realising that I had forgotten to add the lemon juice, rectified this by adding two tablespoons from a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge and then boiled it all again for another ten or so minutes and then re potted it.
This time it has a better set although to my mind not quite firm enough. But a jelly is usually a bit softer than a jam so it's not too bad.
We had it on toast for breakfast yesterday and it was declared a complete success flavour wise for Lovely Hubby.