Damson jelly

Damson jelly

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(1 ratings)


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Cooking time

Ready in around 1½ hours, plus cooling time

Skill level

For the keen cook


Amount made depends on juice extracted (see step 3)

A delicious way to deal with a glut of damsons - perfect on toast or fresh bread and a great accompaniment to roast meats

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Vegetarian
Nutrition info


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  • 1.8kg damsons
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • preserving sugar (not jam sugar with pectin)

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  1. Wash the fruit, then tip into a preserving pan with the lemon juice and 300ml/1⁄2 pint water. Bring slowly to the boil, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the fruit is soft.
  2. Carefully pour the contents of the pan into a scalded jelly bag with a large bowl set underneath to catch the juice (see the Step-by-step photo). Leave for several hours.
  3. Measure the juice back into the pan, then add 500g of sugar to every 500ml of juice or 1lb sugar for every pint of juice. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then raise the heat and rapidly boil until setting point is reached. Test this by spooning a little on to a chilled saucer. Cool slightly then push with your finger – if it wrinkles it is ready. If not return to the heat, boil for 5 more minutes and test again.
  4. Pot into warm sterilised jars and cool before sealing. Can be eaten straight away, but keeps for up to a year.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2003

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jonesthejam's picture

Just a note for beginners. You do not need expensive preserving sugar to make jams and jellies - ordinary granulated sugar is fine. If it's good enough for Delia it's good enough for me!

jonesthejam's picture

This is a really good and easy recipe. I had about 20 kilos of damsons (2 maslin pans full) so made this in 4 batches, yielding 20 x 300 ml jars. 3 comments: 1. You do not need 500g sugar for each 500 ml juice - 220-250g is plenty, otherwise you lose the sweet/sour taste of the damsons and it becomes overly sweet. 2. Do not overfill your maslin, or other, pan as this boils ferociously. 3. Despite being full of pectin do not expect this to thicken as you cook. When it reaches 104 degrees, or thickens on a frozen plate, it's ready. It will seem very runny but, after leaving it overnight, it will thicken to the most gorgeous magenta jelly. Very pleased with this recipe.

mamamegraw's picture

does not say how many jars it makes

jonesthejam's picture

Hi. It's quite difficult to say how many jars this will make as it all depends on how much juice you extract. If you leave it overnight you'll get more, if you leave it for just a couple of hours you'll get less. I know that from about 20 kilos I got 20 x 300 ml jars if that's any help.

larahoare's picture

Just finished making my first Damson Jelly. Really enjoyed making it as we picked the fruit while going on a walk for free! Very easy to do especially as we borrowed my mother in laws jam maker to do it with. Thanks Gaynor!

sspink's picture
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Absolutely beautiful. Fresh and tangy.

tootsmon's picture

I have added 2 chillis and several pieces of cinnamon and a desert spoon of cloves and juice and rind of an orange . delicious with cold meats and gives it a christmassy taste :-)

stevealden's picture

Excellent recipe. I didnt use the jelly bag but a fine sieve so a little more cloudy but a lot quicker. End result is excellent with lots of compliments. Recommended