words Alexa Wang
Tart and sweet, damsons are vibrant purple stony fruits that ripen around mid-August. Originally from the Damascus region of Syria – hence the name damson – these plums have been used for centuries in English kitchens to make jam, preserves and liqueurs. However, they are surprisingly versatile and can be incorporated into many recipes, whether savoury, sweet or even spicy.
With these delectable fruits finally back in season, you may be left wondering what to do with damsons. Compared to other plum varieties, damsons don’t retain a lot of water and contain loads of dietary fibre, making them ideal for baking. We have compiled the best ways to utilize them with delicious and easy damson plum recipes you can easily try from the comfort of your home. Plus, these fantastic damson plum recipes will also make great gifts!
This alcoholic damson plum recipe is extremely easy to make but it does require some patience. The good news is that your fruity gin will be ready right on time for the holiday season and will make the perfect accompaniment to your festive occasions.
All you’ll need are damsons, your favourite gin and white sugar. Roughly prick around 300g of damsons with a fork and place them into a large jar (2 litres is recommended). Pour in 150g of sugar and fill the rest with the gin. Shake well and store in a cool and dark place for at least two to three months. A piece of advice for what to do with damson gin: top your gin with champagne and garnish with a maraschino cherry for a festive tipple. You can also make fantastic damson-infused vodka by following the same steps.
Pie and cobbler damson recipes
Pie and cobbler damson plum recipes are perhaps the most popular dessert option. There are so many possibilities for crust, toppings and fillings that we will leave that bit up to you. Many recommend garnishing your homemade sweet treat with roasted flaked almonds and serving with sour cream or vanilla ice cream to offset the fruit’s tartness.
Not sure what to do with damsons that are over-ripe? Make damson jam! The Industrial Revolution widely popularized damson jam, with plenty of orchards across the country solely used for this commercial purpose. Easy to make and always delicious, jam only requires you to simmer your damsons in a big saucepan until they’re completely soft. At this point, add sugar and let it bubble softly a little while longer, ensuring that everything is well combined. To spruce up your jammy damson plum recipe, you can add green apples, blackberries or swap out some of your sugar for vanilla sugar.
Damson in savoury dishes
Damson plum recipes usually involve sweet treats and preserves. If you want to know what to do with damson in a savoury dish, we recommend trying a boeuf bourguignon with a twist. This slow-cooking French fare yields a delicious stew with tender beef seeped in red wine, garlic, onion, carrots and peppercorns. Just add some pitted damsons to the mix for a tangy kick everyone at the dinner table will love.
Damson chutney is the slightly savoury counterpart of jam that complements sandwiches, cheese boards, curries and Sunday roasts. The base of damson plum recipes for chutney include demerara or brown sugar, peppercorns, cloves and salt. Damson chutney recipes can accommodate most of your flavour preferences. Some add caramelized onions and garlic, others will sprinkle nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom or chilli flakes for a hot kick. Chutney is adaptable to all your desires – don’t hesitate to incorporate apples, figs or raisins.
With the right pantry design and storage techniques, many of these damson plus recipes can be stored unopened for months on end. Which damson plum recipe are you keen to try at home?