It’s easy to forget how fast it is to boil up a small batch of jam. So aware of the fleeting season for damson plums, thumbnail-sized dusky purple numbers that melt down into yummy jam, I picked up a quart at the farmers’ market today, and was done jamming by coffee time, something over an hour from start to finish. Regular plums would have been faster, because they are far easier to pit, but damsons have that concentrated plum taste I rather like. Damsons must be oozing in natural pectin too. This jam sets fast. Watch that it doesn’t burn.
1 quart damsons, washed and stalks removed
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp honey
juice of one lemon
Simmer the damsons in the water for 10 minutes or so until they melt down a little, and then make yourself comfortable for the fiddly job of removing the stones. I’ve tried various different ways for this. The easiest (and messiest) is to wait until the plums are cold enough to handle and just squeeze out the stones with your fingers, but I didn’t want to hang around for that one, so I spooned the pulp, little by little, into a big slotted spoon, squished the fruit through and fished out the stones. It wasn’t particularly efficient. I’ll try another way next time.
Add the sugar, honey and lemon juice to your pitted pulp (and any liquid juice) and heat, gently until the sugar dissolves, and then at a rolling boil until it sets. This took maybe 5 minutes.
Bottle in sterilized jars. Waterbath for 10 minutes.
I got about three jars, so I admit I didn’t bother with the waterbathing. There’s room in the fridge for three jars of something, or I can live dangerously and put them in the cold room with all the others.
Let’s see. There’s another (less full) shelf below this one. Is that 70 or 80 jars lurking in the cold room right now?