Saturday, 1 August 2015

An Alcoholic Kitchen

I did eventually get round to the jam making after leaving all the pans, bags of sugar and various bits and bobs warming on the Aga the other day.

The Damsons had been strained through muslin to separate them from the gin and the whisky, and then the alcohols were bottled.  Next the damsons were stoned as I showed on this post.  Then I added enough boiling water to cover the damsons in the pan and brought it back to the boil, it was left to simmer for around twenty minutes ....

....  then it was all tipped into the jelly bag and left to drip overnight.

It's always tempting to give the bag a squeeze to get every last drop out ... but DON'T, you get a much clearer jelly if leave it to drip naturally and slowly.

After weighing it I poured the luscious looking, and heavenly smelling liquid from the jug into my jam pan and added it's weight in sugar with a tablespoon of lemon juice, and brought it all to a rolling boil, once jam temperature had been reached I checked for a set on an ice cold saucer and decided to get it into the jars.

As you can see I managed two full sized jam jars , a smaller jar and a little sample for me to try on a slice of toast .... I love chef's perks ;-)

I could have stopped there, but I had a taste of the mush left in the jelly bag and yes, it still had lots of lovely flavour to impart and as I had spent so long stoning the fruit it would have been criminal not to have used it.  

So I set to and made some normal jam to go with my already made jelly.  

I added a little bit of water to the mush, just under it's own weight in sugar and another dash of lemon juice and off I went again.  I just about managed it before the Aga temperature dropped too much, having the top lids open is what causes an Aga to drop in temperature and it needs time to get back up to full performance.

So from two kilos of Damsons, one small bottle of whiskey, one large bottle of Gin and a couple of bags of sugar I got - three and a bit bottles of Damson Gin, three jars (and a taster) of Damson Gin Jelly .....

 .... five full sized and one smaller jar of Damson Gin Jam ....

... and two and a bit bottles of Damson Whisky ... and BOY is it strong!!

Not a bad few hours work.

Hic, hic!!   ;-)

Sue xx


  1. Mmmmmmm, everything looks yummy!

  2. Well done Sue. You always make a good job of things. That lot will never last until the next damson harvest I bet!!!! Ann x

  3. Wow - now don't drink it all at once!

  4. Sue, what an inspiration you are! I'm currently sitting on a picnic chair in front of the Rayburn in the building site that is our Welsh cottage (moved into last Sunday). Having taken early retirement from the education world and moving from West Sussex to what seems like the most glorious countryside, we are looking forward to making damson gin, growing our own and making our own 'new life in the country'. Thank you! Kx

  5. that is a wonderful use of it all, it will be so tasty come cooler weather.

  6. Wow very resourceful, I'd have never thought of reusing the damsons to make jam after using them for the drink!

  7. It all looks delicious! Yummy x

  8. Mmm, the idea of damson gin is making me thirsty. I wonder if I could quickly whip some up in time for my camping trip on Friday? I love the packaging you used - they'd also make nice presents.

    1. Haha .... I doubt it!!

      Mine had been steeping in the gin for 18 months, a minimum for a good tasting Damson Gin or Damson Whiskey is about 3 months, you need this time to get a good depth of flavour.

      It does make good presents, and we have given lots away int he past. Once bottled it just keeps improving in flavor the longer you keep it for.


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