At the moment I am almost snowed under with produce that requires something done with it... With only one maslin pan, it's hardly had time to go cold before it's back on the heat again... I have three large buckets full of grapes demanding attention, along with two huge bags of mixed variety apples... (a step by step guide to bottling apples will be forthcoming Jo... but please bear with me on this one... I'm running out of jars) before I decide what to do with all this fruit, I thought I would share with you, what I did with four kilo's of free damsons.
A couple of weeks ago, on the way to my allotment, I passed a really friendly sign that said 'Damsons, please help yourself, we've had tons!'... so we did. It was unexpected and threw me into a bit of a tiz because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them. After a bit of searching through my recipe books and old cuttings from magazines I came up with a plan....
They were washed and all bugs removed. Then I added about a pint of water and two teaspoons of mixed spice popped a lid on and brought them slowly up to a boil.
At this stage I decanted some of the damson jam into 2 warm sterilised jars. The rest of the jam continued to boil in the maslin pan until it was really really thick.
At this stage it is called a cheese (not sure exactly why, but it is good served with cheese and can also be cut into slices once it has gone cold... like cheese). As well as the two jars of jam, I got three jars of damson cheese.
But then I boiled it a little more - almost too much as it started to burn on the bottom of the pan - so it was quickly taken off the heat and spooned into a shallow container and left to set.
These were then placed into a very cool oven - just barely on at 50 degrees - and I left them there for most of the day to dry out. Sometimes I turned the oven off for a while because I thought they were getting a little too hot. The jelly shapes dried out quite a bit making them less sticky to pick up.