Damson jelly

Damson jelly

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(3 ratings)

Ready in around 1½ hours, plus cooling time

A challenge

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

  • Vegetarian


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 1.8kg damsons



    A small fruit with vibrant dark blue skin and a strong, sour flavour, damsons are similar to…

  • juice of 2 lemons



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • preserving sugar (not jam sugar with pectin)


  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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31st Aug, 2015
PS 1.8kg of damsons yielded just over 1 litre of juice (ie before adding the sugar) which, following the recipe, filled 12 x little 130ml jars perfectly.
31st Aug, 2015
A quick question, does this need to be kept in the fridge? Or put in the fridge to set at least?
18th Aug, 2016
No, as long as everything was sterilised properly it will keep in a cupboard. If it's not set, it wasn't boiled until the setting point was reached, it doesn't have to go into the fridge to set.
31st Aug, 2015
Have just made this. As a novice I found it relatively easy thanks to all the tips and comments. It looks gorgeous (a lovely cranberry colour) and so far tastes delicious.
4th Aug, 2015
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!
4th Aug, 2015
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.
15th Nov, 2012
does not say how many jars it makes
4th Aug, 2015
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.
4th Sep, 2011
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!
7th Jul, 2011
Absolutely beautiful. Fresh and tangy.


31st Aug, 2015
Sorry, this should have been a question: Does this need to be kept in the fridge? Or put in the fridge to set at least?
31st Aug, 2015
A quick question, does this need to be kept in the fridge? Or put in the fridge to set at least?
1st Oct, 2013
How do u view step by step photos??? Help please
Lyn Renton's picture
Lyn Renton
23rd Mar, 2020
Don't reduce the amount of sugar as suggested by someone else, you will have to boil the jelly longer to get a set and then it will be discoloured and overcooked. Also it won't keep so well - sugar is the preservative.
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