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Damson Jam Recipe

Damson Jam bottled
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Damson Jam bottled

The British weather produces the best damsons in the world. Damson jam has a bitter sweet taste which is perfect for jam. Easy to make, this is the ideal use for damsons.


1 kilo Damsons

750g sugar (normal granulated type)

200ml water (needed to keep the jam moist)

: 40 minutes
COOKING TIME: 50 minutes
DIFFICULTY: Easy but tedious removing stones
SERVINGS: Three jam jars
EQUIPMENT: Large stainless steel pan. If you use non-stainless steel pans the acid in the fruit will react with the pan metal, damaging the pan and spoiling the jam flavour.

Jam jars with lids. Any type of glass jar can be used with a lid that seals as the jam cools. Examples include jars from cook-in sauces, chutney, shop bought jams etc.


Place two small plates in the freezer. These will used to place a small amount of jam on them to test if the jam has set.

Wash the damsons and remove any stalks.

Wash the jam jars and lids in very hot water. Heat the oven to 140°C / Fan 120°C / 275°F / Gas Mark 1 and place the jam jars (not the lids) in the oven for 30 minutes. Do this while the jam is cooking.


We use glass jars and tops dating back many years. They are from sauces, pickles etc. Never have they proven a problem, so don't believe those companies which produce specific jars and claim they are needed - in our experience they arte not neded.

When the damson jam is cooked you will need to test if the jam mixture has set / reached setting point. This is not complicated and the video below explains exactly how to do this.

Damsons are high in pectin so at the end of cooking it is highly likely that the damson jam will have set / reached setting point.



Add the damsons and water to a pan on a medium heat and simmer for around half an hour. Every five minutes or so break up the damsons with a spoon as they cook. This will also release the stones from the fruit.

Add the sugar and stir continuously for five minutes until completely dissolved. Remove the majority of stones from the jam mixture.

Turn the heat up to high and allow the jam mixture to boil for 10 minutes. Test to see if the jam has set / reached setting point (see video above). If the jam has not set boil for a further two minutes.

We have found that "mashing" the jam gently at this stage and then stirring well, removes any damson fruit which is still clinging to the stones.

Damson jam at rolling boil
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Damson jam at rolling boil


When the jam has cooked for 10 minutes, pot it up into the warm (not cold) sterilised jam containers.

As you fill the jam jars, keep an eye out for any remaining stones which should be romoved.

Don't fill the jars completely, fill to 1cm or so below the top. This allows an air pocket at the top of the jar which will contract when it cools. This seals the lid to the jar.

Seal with a cap and label. Allow the jam to cool at room temperature before using.

We turn the jars upside down then the correct way up a couple of times during cooling. This prevents the fruit / skin from settling to the top or bottom of the jar.

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