Damson Jam plus my tip for quick pitting!

Damson Jam with my tip for pitting Damsons easily! @FabFood4All

Damson Jam

Today I’m re-posting my Damson Jam which was published in 2013 when I didn’t own or know how to use a professional camera. This recipe has been one of my most popular jams ever since so it was high time I did a re-shoot and gave it the presentation it deserved! I hope you approve.

I have a confession to make, in the 40 years that my parents have lived in their current house I have never taken any notice of their Damson tree. When I was growing up we had a Victoria plum tree and a huge pear tree which dominated the garden but the Damson tree just minded its own business in one of the borders. The Victoria plum tree and the pear tree have long since languished but the Damson tree has soldiered on. So it took my new love of jam making for me to actually look forward to the harvest of Damsons that I’ve half-heartedly accepted bags of in the past. Yes shocking I know!

Damson Jam with my tip for pitting Damsons easily! @FabFood4All

So as with all my jams I like to have a good old research of my topic and find the best and most efficient way to make my next jam. It became apparent that this wasn’t a simple jam to make like all the other ones I’d made. With Damsons you have the sticky issue of the stone to contend with. Hence there were recipes where you either laboriously cut them out at the beginning or you had to wade through hot jam at the end to remove them. Kirstie Allsopp even suggested counting the plums so that you could be sure to have removed all the stones! Then there were useful tips I found like agitating the plums once cooked with a whisk to help loosen the stones before fishing out. Another tip I found which would have worked if my plums had all been really ripe, was to remove the stone by gripping the opposite ends of the Damson and squeezing thus releasing the stone. Sadly this only worked on a few of my plums and most of them were not ripe enough for this method.

Damson Jam with my tip for pitting Damsons easily! @FabFood4All

I came up with what I thought was a stroke of genius, I used my Oxo Goodgrips Cherry/Olive pitter as it is so sturdy and proved perfect for the job. I decided I didn’t fancy fishing for stones at the end of the jam making process with rubber gloves and I’m really glad I opted to remove them before. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t have known about the 3 rotten plums that had looked fine from the outside but were totally brown on the inside which would have spoiled the jam. The only problem with pitting the olives before hand is that there is a certain amount of plum still stuck to the stone, which would also happen when using a knife or the squeeze technique. Not wanting to waste any flesh I decided to simmer my stones with a small amount of water and then to pop them in a sieve which seemed to be the best of both worlds and then the liquor could be popped back in to the pan with the simmered Damsons before adding the sugar.

Damson Jam with my tip for pitting Damsons easily! @FabFood4All

As Damsons are so delightfully full of pectin there was no need to add any other fruit or lemon juice to this recipe, they are the perfect fruit to make jam or jelly with. I had never eaten Damson jam before and it has a unique sharp edge to it which I have enjoyed especially at breakfast time. I made 8 pots of varying sizes but did measure the volume which was about 2.1 ltrs.Damson Jam with my tip for pitting Damsons easily! @FabFood4All
I love chatting jam, so if you have any questions or want to tell me how you got on then do fire away in the comment section below!

4.7 from 33 reviews
Damson Jam
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A beautiful tart Damson Jam perfect for using up your Autumn windfalls.
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: British
Serves: 1.1 ltrs
  • 1.5 kg Damsons, stoned
  • 1.875 kg Granulated Sugar
  • 450 ml Water + 20 ml to simmer with damson stones
  1. Cook the damsons in a preserving pan with the water gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. At the same time cook the stones in a separate medium sized pan with 20 mls of water for 20 minutes.
  3. When the stones have cooked put them in a sieve and squeeze with the back of a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes. (There will be clear liquid and a little puree, no need to squeeze until dry).
  4. Add this liquor to the cooked Damsons and then add the sugar.
  5. Heat slowly until all the sugar has dissolved stirring with a wooden spoon.
  6. Bring to the boil slowly and then time a rolling boil for 13 minutes (make sure you stir with a wooden spoon regularly to stop it catching and burning).
  7. Take off the heat and test a teaspoon of jam on a cold plate, leave for a couple of minutes and if it crinkles when your finger is pushed through it it’s ready.
  8. If not boil for 2 more minutes at a time repeating the test.
  9. Once ready pot up into sterilised jars and put on a clean lid. Makes 2.1 ltrs or 8 jars of varied sizes.
Put 2 small plates in the freezer before you start.
Sterilise jars by washing or dishwashing, filling with boiling water, emptying and then placing in oven for 20 minutes at 140°C then leave in oven until jam is ready. Wash the lids, sterilise with boiling water and then leave to drain.

For more plum jam inspiration you might like:

Mirabelle Plum Jam

Greengage Jam and what to do when your jam is too runny!

Why not pin for later!

Damson Jam with my tip for pitting Damsons easily! @FabFood4All

Permanent link to this article: https://www.fabfood4all.co.uk/damson-jam/


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  1. John Winston

    Dying to get my hands on some damsons….. I have a Victoria plum tree in my garden from which I make delicious jam. I find it easy to stone the plums if they are frozen for a couple of days and then thawed out. I let the finished jam actually tasted better than the non-frozen! I wonder if this could apply to damsons? Thanks for this inspiring recipe! John.

    1. Camilla

      Thanks for sharing John. I’m afraid I have no idea as have never tried this method.

  2. Angela

    Best advise I was given is to count your fruit in and count your stones out.
    So if you put 20 damsons in, make sure you get 20 stones back out of the pan, so easy!

  3. Jacquie Hobbs

    Hi my damsons are over ripe as had to leave them when picked for a few days and the skins are splitting. Are they still ok to make some jam with? I really don’t want to waste them they are native Shropshire damsons/plums featured on country file!!!. Thankyou

    1. Camilla

      Hi Jacquie, jam is best made with slightly under-ripe or just ripe fruit so if you use these Damsons the quality of the jam won’t be as good as it should be and the pectin levels will have decreased. It’s your call really.

  4. albert johnson

    Hi Just been given bag full of damsons read your recipe & comments. Can I use a automatic bread maker instead of stainless saucepan

    1. Camilla

      Hi Albert, I have no idea as I’ve never made jam in a bread maker. There must be a way of converting the recipe but I’m afraid I can’t help on that one! Plus you need a very large saucepan the size of a preserving pan.

      1. albert johnson

        Thanks Camilla Book I got with my bread maker gives recipe for plum jam & other fruits so will give it a go
        will let you know results

        1. Camilla

          I look forward to hearing about it Albert:-)

  5. Mike

    The damsons I will use to make both Jam and Damson Gin have “blotches” on the skins. Will this cause problem?

    1. Camilla

      I avoid imperfect looking Damsons. Last year my parents’ crop were all blotchy with little brown wood patches so I didn’t make jam with them. This year after some feed the tree had much better fruit on on so I used and discarded any imperfect looking ones. So the answer is, I wouldn’t but not having ever done it I can’t say how it would turn out but imagine that woody skin in jam would not be pleasant. I can’t help you on the gin front I’m afraid but I imagine you don’t eat the skin in that so might be better?

  6. Janet

    When you say 1.5kg damsons, stoned, is that the stoned or pre-stoned weight?

    1. Camilla

      It’s 1.5 Kg of damsons then you stone them otherwise it would say 1.5 Kg stoned damsons:-)

  7. Jean

    I do not know if anyone else has commented on the fact that your pictures are not damsons but purple PLUMS

    1. Camilla

      Hi Jean, the Damsons are from my parent’s tree which they’ve had in their garden for 43 years (tree is much older) and I was up a ladder shaking them off the branches with a hoe and my dad helping. Sadly I can share a still of the tree, ladder and blanket here:-)

  8. Jackie

    hi your jar of jam in the picture looks as though it has no skin in. How do you overcome that

    1. Camilla

      Hi Jackie, there is nothing to overcome, just follow the recipe and your jam will look the same, the skin is all in there but as the plums are so tiny they don’t dominate the jam.

  9. Darren

    Needed a recap as I only made my first ever Jam 2 years ago, Damson and Chilli Jam. Picked a load today. Thanks for your info

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Darren, good luck:-)

  10. Janice

    why not let Cooked plums cool then using clean rubber gloves remove stones, just to add I’m not intending to make my jam immediately but need to cook the plums.
    This is my first attempt of ever making jam. Would the mixture be ok to freeze at this stage?

    1. Camilla

      Hi Janice, you can by all means remove the stones with a slotted spoon whilst jam is still hot but you would not allow the jam to cool as it needs to be potted up whilst still hot and sealed immediately. I would not want to put rubber gloves in jam as it could taint the flavour. I have never frozen jam and once thawed I don’t think it lasts nearly as long as “normal” jam as I have recently come across this phenomenon in a US canning group. So you’d probably need to check a US recipe for the best practices for making jam for the freezer.

  11. Michelle Harrison

    Thanks for sharing. I made jam from this recipe a couple of days ago from the my damson tree, and we can’t stop eating it! I’m about to make a second batch. The only downside was that I decided to painstakingly stone the damsons by hand as there are always a few that are rotten or have grubs, but the end result was worth it.

    1. Camilla

      Hi Michelle, glad you like the jam! Yes pitting beforehand I think is important to catch those odd rotten plums, using the cherry pitter is a really quick way to do this!

  12. Kate - gluten free alchemist

    That’s funny…. I use exactly the same method to de-stone olives!
    We too have a damson tree in our garden. It grew from damsons dropped from the neighbours tree along with loads of other small trees that we regularly have to pull up! They are a bit pesky and I too am ashamed to say I have never actually used the fruit for anything other than irritating the lawnmower. Mad really…. I love damsons….. The jam may be a perfect solution!

    1. Camilla

      Oh I do hope you try this jam then, such a shame to let the Damsons go to waist.

  13. Pamela

    Hi Camilla,
    It may be easier to bring damsons to boil (with stone in) allow to cool then remove before continuing as described. Felt very sorry for young women who stoned damsons raw! She must have the patience of a saint
    P x

    1. Camilla

      Hi Pamela, yes that is a way of doing it but I prefer this way and am in fact making this jam again tomorrow. I found when I was stoning the fruit many of the plums looked fine on the outside but were in fact rotten or had been attacked by insects so I’d rather be in a position to throw these rogue plums away than have them spoil my jam. With the cherry pitter that I mentioned it was a slightly less arduous task.

  14. Wendy

    Discovered a damson tree in my new garden, laden with fruit and found your recipe for my first time making damson jam. Thank you! Just delicious. Only problem is I have stained fingers from stoning the fruit!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Wendy, so glad you like the jam, I’m waiting for my parents’ Damsons to ripen so that I can make more and re-shoot this recipe:-)I was about to suggest latex gloves for another time but I’m on a mission to cut down on waist plastic and protect the environment so won’t LOL:-)

  15. Tracy Nixon

    I love making jam to give as a gift! This recipe sounds lovely thanks!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Tracy:-)

  16. Annie Darley

    Hi Camilla
    I am just about to make some damson jam. When weighing the fruit, do we take the fruit, plus the stones, into consideration or should we stone the fruit and then weigh up to the requirement?

    1. Camilla

      Hi Annie, unless stated the weights of the fruit in my jams is always the weight of the whole fruit (ie not after preparation). I’m all for an easy life:-) x

  17. Paul Wilson

    Not too long until damson season.

  18. Maya Russell

    I think we have a damson tree. They look small like these ones. And we usually get a glut so I’ll be making jam!

    1. Camilla


  19. Jane Davies

    I’ve never tried it either ! Looks lovely though 🙂

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Jane, think it’s my most popular recipe or very close to my Blackberry and Apple Jam – they fight for top spot each year!

  20. Anne Dalzell

    Do you know i’ve never even tasted Damson jam…. now where to find some Damsons?

    1. Camilla

      Well I’ll let you into a secret, nor had I until I made it:-)

  21. Farhana

    Looks deslish

  22. kayleigh white

    You cannot beat homemade jam!

  23. Richard

    Hi Camilla,

    I have made damson jam for many years, In fact I am making some tomorrow from frozen fruit! Anyway, looking at your damsons, I would say that they are not yet ripe. They should be soft, good to eat and and be dark blue in colour. There is quite a lot of green on yours!

    Your pitting would work better then too with the fruit that much softer. Admittedly, I spoon the pips out of the jam when I’m cooking them.

    All the best,


    1. Camilla

      Good luck and thank you for visiting my recipe:-)

  24. Alison Turner

    That looks lovely one of my favourite jams but not such a popular fruit now as it used to be sadly.

  25. Alison

    Don’t know what I did wrong but there was no way that the stones from all this damsons was going to cook with 20 mls of water! Started to burn straight away. I put them in muslin bag and cooked them with damsons. Very successful!

    1. Camilla

      I can only think that the heat was on too high if they burned straight away as you’re the first to mention this. Glad you found a way round it though:-)

    2. Sean

      Should be 20cl not ml, I would imagine..

      1. Camilla

        No that is the correct amount:-)

  26. gary price

    Have a had a bumper crop of damson this year and normally make around d 3 ltrs of damson gin
    Have just followed your recipe with my surplus and made jam for the first time
    It’s delicious thank you

    1. Camilla

      Brilliant, so glad it worked well for you especially as it was your first time:-) Hope you’ll check out my other fab jam recipes:-)

  27. Lesley

    Just got some Damson Gin nurturing.

  28. Jane Stubbs

    Just made this jam. Your recipe was really easy to follow for someone who has never made jam before. It worked well and the jam is yummy. Thanks

    1. Camilla

      So glad it worked well for you, hopefully you’ll carry on now you’ve got the bug:-)

  29. Anita Carruthers

    Hi, I’ve been given a big bag of damsons and was looking on the internet to get a recipe for jam and have come across yours, which has some really good comments. Do you need to use a preserving pan or will a stainless steel saucepan do?

    1. Camilla

      Hi, I don’t have a preserving pan but do use a very high sided deep stainless steel pan which is of a similar size. This is the most popular post on my blog right now but it has stiff competition from my Blackberry & Apple Jam:-) I believe in making things as fuss free as possible without compromising on the quality of the end product. Good luck and do let me know how you get on:-)

  30. Nicole

    Thank you for the recipe. The jam is just delicious !, I have a kendwood mixer with a sieve attachment and used that to get rid of the stones after cooking the fruits, so much easier!…

    1. Camilla

      Thank you;-) I have a Kenwood but have not seen the sieve attachment ever! Would be good if like grapes Damsons could be stoneless LOL!

  31. Irene Wright

    reminds me of when we were kids and there wasn’t much money around in our house. Every kind of spare fruit was made into jam and plums, gooseberries, rhubarb comes to mind. thanks for the memories.

  32. Jo

    By the way I was meant to tap 5 stars for this recipe! But my iPhone wouldn’t let me.

    Many thanks


    1. Camilla

      Thank you, it does seem to have struck a chord with many people:-)

  33. Jo

    Just made this yummy jam with local Sussex damsons that a neighbour was giving away from their garden :)Thank you for the recipe!

    This is the first time I have made jam and used some old jam pots I had- i did sterilise them, but the lids are already ‘popped’ and worried they haven’t sealed properly.

    They are currently cooling on the side. Not sure what to do now…apart from eat it 🙂

    How long will the jam last? Do I refrigerate it?

    Many thanks


    1. Camilla

      Hi Jo
      I’m not sure what you mean about the lids having popped. The vacuum forms in the jar as the jam cools. I have never looked at my lids and would have no way
      of knowing if they’d “popped” unless they were special ones with a manufacturer’s “popping dimple” on them. Here’s a link to an article in The Daily Mail which you may find useful about keeping jam etc http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2718301/Do-really-need-ketchup-fridge-And-jam-mayonnaise-pickle-The-answers-surprise-you.html . I tend to keep my opened jams in the fridge but sometimes I’ve found that it makes the jam a bit too stiff so as long as you use a clean spoon to serve each time then I keep certain flavours out on the counter. Unopened jam should be kept in a dark cool cupboard and should keep for over a year but mine never lasts that long and I tend to give lots away:-) Not sure I’ve answered your question but hopefully the jars will be sealed once fully cold!

  34. jenny

    Just made abatch on a wet bank holiday afternoon! Excellent recipe, Now pancakes and damson jam for tea!

    1. Camilla

      Excellent, so glad you like it:-)

  35. jenny

    Excellent recipe. Just made a batch to pass a wet bank holiday afternoon . Pancakes and damson jam for for tea

  36. boatman

    Excellent recipe, just enough information and works perfectly.

    1. Camilla

      Thank, so glad you liked it:-)

  37. June Etherington

    I love damsons but I’ve never made jam with them. I will now.

    1. Camilla

      Do let me know how you get on:-)

  38. bev

    Great waste-avoiding idea to simmer the stones!

  39. Ursula Hunt

    Homemade jam on warm fresh crusty bread- delicious

  40. Heather Haigh

    Damson jam is one of my all time favouries, but one I haven’t had for years sadly. Wondering where I can get some damsons…

  41. Paul Wilson

    Not very often you seem damsons these days, which is a shame because it makes an interesting change.

    1. Camilla

      I’ve never seen them for sale!

      1. Nova

        You have to go to Somerton in Somerset – wonderful shop there which sells lots of local produce including the most fabulous damsons for 50p per 500g!! Needlesstosay I am about to make jam, and thought I’d look internet to see if there is anything new about damson jam making since I last made any. Taking out the stones with cherry/olive toner is a brilliant new angle. Many thanks.

        1. Camilla

          Thank you! Those Damsons are a bargain! My parent’s tree is getting past it’s prime so I didn’t bother with it’s Damsons this year! The stones are a pain and at least if you pit the Damsons first you can throw away any rogue rotten ones which I found useful!

  42. Bev

    Looks yummy!

    1. Camilla

      Thank you:-)

  43. Paul Wilson

    Damson jam is really nice.

  44. Londa Perry

    Why do you have to put plates in freezer – what are these used for


    1. Camilla

      When jam is hot it’s a liquid but whe cold and boiled for the right amount of time it sets, so this is how you test:-) If it’s still runny on a cold plate you know you need to boill for longer.


    Looks so Yummy!!!

  46. Susan Elaine Carter

    Had a little chuckle over the ‘windfalls’ as I used to ‘scrump’ these when I was a kid so my mother could make Damon jam.

    I hasten to add that I buy them these days.

    1. Camilla

      I’ve never seen a Damson for sale, think they are quite rare these days!

  47. Rachel

    Oh dear, my jam does not seem to be setting! I keep boiling it fora further 2 minutes, but have been doing this for a while now – please help x

    1. Camilla

      Depending on how ripe or unripe the Damsons were will determine the set – try putting the plate in the fridge for a couple of minutes after each boil – you only need a slight gel consistency for it to be ready – it shouldn’t be too stiff at this stage. Hope you win through.

      1. Rachel

        Thank you so much. I have filled my jars anyway, so we will wait and see. It tastes amazing, even if it is on the runny side 🙂 x

        1. Camilla

          Do let me know how it turns out. I prefer runny jam to stiff jam any day of the week:-) If it stays runny you can always use it as a compote for desserts like rice pudding, semolina, ice cream etc:-)

          1. Rachel

            Still runny, but still delicious – especially on croissants! I think maybe the fruit was over-ripe, as they were blown from our trees in the winds? Never mind, my labels will now be for ‘Damson Compote’ – what a brilliant idea, thank you for all your help and advice x

          2. Camilla

            Aah, yes mine were picked from the tree, you probably needed the help of the juice of a lemon and then have boiled it up with the lemon skins too to help up the pectin levels. But glad you’re enjoying it regardless, there’s nothing wrong with Damson Compote:-)

  48. Robin Clay

    Just harvested some hedgerow damsons, and shall start on the jam-making shortly.

    Alas ! Last year “they” felled the adjacent, more prolific, damson tree as it overhung the public footpath.

    Sadly, they do take a long time to bear fruit:-

    “He who plants plums
    Plants for his sons.
    He who plants damsons
    Plants for his grandsons.”

    1. Camilla

      How lovely, I’ve never heard that rhyme before. It’s amazing the love for damsons out there, even chatted to a stranger in the supermarket just now about them:-)

  49. Pam

    I still have damson jam from both last years batch and recently found one from 2 years ago. I have found the jam really intensifies with age and the flavour seems to get even better.

    We store our jam and chutney in our brick garage inside cardboard boxes and it really does keep well.

    We have just made “Delia’s spiced damson chutney” last week with having a glut of damsons this year and it is AMAZING! She says to keep for at least 3 months but we had a little left over and have eaten it already with cheese. We’ll definitely be making this every year now along with our jam 🙂

    1. Camilla

      Thank you, that’s good to know:-)

  50. Jill Bhatia

    Can I make the jam, let it cool and then put in plastic containers in the freezer? Will freezing affect the taste or texture of the jam? I do not have a cool place in which to store the sterilized jars.

    1. Camilla

      No. Just keep it in a cupboard in your kitchen and it will be fine as long as it is not warm eg next to an Aga cooker.

  51. Rachel

    So you leave the skins on?? Do you not need to sieve the jam before bottling??

    1. Camilla

      No just as the recipe says, no sieving:-)

  52. Lisa

    How long does this jam keep for???

    1. Camilla

      I googled and found that home-made jam can last for up to 3 years in a cool, dark place. But I don’t imagine any jam would ever not be eaten before then:-)

  53. Sue

    You can buy damsons from farms in the Lyth Valley in Cumbria near Kendal. I recently bought 8lbs for £9.60 and froze them. Today I am attempting to make some jam!

    1. Camilla

      Great, do let me know how you get on:-)

  54. Pam

    We only discovered damsons 2 years ago in the hedgerows near our static caravan in Shropshire. We had to ask someone what they were then picked a bag full and made our first batch of damson jam. It tasted amazing, like nothing we have tasted before and we were hooked on damsons there and then and managed to get a few more lb to make more jam and damson gin and damson vodka too!

    We now look forward to every September when we can pick some damsons and this year has been prolific for them. All our friends and family ask for our damson jam and we give jam, chutney and damson gin out as Xmas presents which everyone loves.. We add a slug of gin to our jam just before bottling and I have to say we only use about half the amount of sugar as we prefer it more tart than sweet.

    We all need to start re-planting damson trees in our gardens so this wonderful unknown fruit doesn’t disappear 🙂

    1. Camilla

      Yes you’re right. Husband says he used to love shop bought Damson Jam as a kid but I don’t think it’s available anymore. Must have fallen out of fashion over the years which is a shame. There is a huge passion for Damsons it seems so maybe the tide will turn in their favour again and more trees will be planted to meet the demand!

  55. Jackie Harradine

    I think Damson jam is one of the best, but the stones are almost impossible to get out. I’ve found a quick and easy way to do this. Bring to the boil the Damsons and some water and then simmer for about an hour until the Damsons are really soft. Get out your vegetable colander and check that the stones are too big to go through the holes. Pour the Damsons into the colander and then swish round, pressing against the side of the colander with a wooden spoon. Metal sieves do the job as well but take forever. Using a colander it’s only a few minutes.

    1. Camilla

      Do you not loose the skins from the jam with this method?

  56. Ray

    Will be making my third batch of jam this year in the morning, also made 4 gallons of damson wine last week.
    plenty of damsons this year following 2 years without.
    Trees can be found in old hedgrows in Shropshire, they used to be grown commercially to make a dye. Probably too expensive to pick for sale.
    Family always made jam especially durinf the war. Pantry shelves are creaking.
    Youngsters say it is easier to buy jam, but never refuse mne.

    1. Camilla

      You can’t beat home made jam, there’s just no comparison is there? Plus the satisfaction making it is something you just can’t buy:-)

    2. Kathy Bennett

      Hi, I live in Cheshire and was interested to read of them being grown commercially there. They were also grown for the use of dyeing here in Cheshire and there are still numerous damson trees in the area. I was given a damson tree some years ago (known locally as bullaces) and now my garden is overrun with them as the fruits have self-seeded new trees. I have donated some to a local arboretum to form a hedge but would be willing to donate some more to anyone who wants one. The only catch being you would have to dig it up yourself! Apparently to crop them, a cart was pulled behind horses and contained a large cloth held by several people, whilst another worker shook the tree and the damsons were caught in the cloth.
      Apologies for the odd flow of this…typing on very small screen!

      1. Camilla

        Fascinating Kathy. The picking method sounds not dissimilar from they way I harvested these with my dad, we had a sheet on the ground and I was up a ladder with a hoe shaking and whacking the branches:-)

  57. emma speers

    MMMM yum just love making jam… my next door neighbour grows grapes and i get lots in my garden but they are so bitter, make beautiful jam though!

  58. Joycelin

    Have just had 2 large bags of damsons delivered by my lovely neighbours – gave a jar of freshly made blackberry/apple jam in exchange – with a promise from me to provide a jar of Damson jam and a tipple of Damson Gin! Not having made damson jam before I have been searching for a recipe and yours is excellent – the ONLY ONE that gives the weight to be used of ‘stoned’ damsons. Can’t wait to try it out.

    1. Camilla

      Aaw, thank you so much for your kind words – good luck with the jam making:-)

  59. Sue

    Made damson jam for first time yesterday, did everything the reciepe said, this moring there is slight mould on the top of small jar?, WHY ?, can I scrap off will the jam last

    1. Camilla

      I’ve never heard of mould growing that quickly, are you sure it’s not scum? If it is mould, you can scrape away about 1cm depth and the rest of the jam will be fine.

  60. I’ve never tried Damsons before so this would be a first lol

  61. maddymad

    would love to try making jam lovely recipe

  62. stacycmcbryde

    Loving this recipe, my gran has a Damson tree in her back garden and we never know what to do with them! We give them away every year to friends and neighbours, I will certainly be using this recipe to make my own preserves – it will be nice to give jars or jam to friends and neighbours!

    1. Camilla

      Great, glad to have helped:-)

  63. Veronica

    Instead of trying to take out all the small stones, try making some Damson Jelly. I make damson jelly every year, it is very easy to make but does take some extra time straining the fruit through a muslin bag (or a pair of tights/clean j-cloth).
    there are various recipes if you do a search for Damson Jelly. BBC Good food have one, although the addition of lemons is unnecessary.
    And I agree with you, it makes a lovely Christmas present.

  64. justine

    do you think if when the damsons are cooked, if you put them in the salad spinner and spun, it would separate the stones from the flesh? I have a bucket of damsons and going to make jam and perhaps infuse some in gin?

    1. Camilla

      I don’t think that would work as the gaps would get clogged with the skins as well as the stones. Good luck with your exploits:-)

  65. Stacey D

    Lovely recipe will surely give this a try

  66. Jessica Cocks

    This sounds delicious – really fancying tea and scones right now!!

  67. vivian allman

    this is my fave all time…..

  68. Manorama

    I have just been given a bag of damsons & looking for recipes, came across yours which I shall try.
    It’s funny you bypassed the damsons, did you never try even one while you chomped on the other fruit & did your mother ignore them too?

    1. Camilla

      It’s a very wirey spindly specimen squashed in by other trees so never remember eating them or my mum doing anything with them as a kid. My parents might have another story of course:-)

  69. Looks great, a little bit too sweet though.

  70. sunshineaftertherain

    the damson jam looks delicious and loved the pictures you included but it looks to much work for me to try making it as im the only one in im family who liked jam 🙂

  71. melanie allen

    first jam the kids ever made its soooo yummy and easy

  72. Margaret Scrivener

    Went out today to collect blackberies and found 2 small damson trees absolutely loaded with fruit, wil definately ry your recipe.

    1. Camilla

      Great, let me know how you get on:-)

  73. Janice Rowstron

    I have a damson tree, when are they ready to pick for making jam?

    1. Camilla

      When they are ripe, some of mine where on the under-ripe side but then that’s good for pectin levels:-)

  74. Paul Wilson

    I love homemade damson jam. Not many damson trees around here though.

  75. paperwrist

    this looks so good there is nothing better than Jam and I am always look for flavours I have not yet tried 🙂 Thank you !

  76. Laura H

    Gorgeous recipe, the result looks beautiful! Wish, wish, wish I was better at jam making!

  77. kay adeola

    This looks yummy i have not made jam for a long time but have lots of different berries around so maybe something for the weekend 🙂

  78. Hazel Rea

    Haven’t eaten damson jam for years – it is lovely. I was surprised you only had to boil it for 13 minutes rather than the ages jams can take but I suppose that’s because of the amount of pectin in them. (When we make blackberry jam we cheat by using jam sugar which only needs a four minute boil and saves a lot of time and testing on cold plates.)

  79. Dave

    I have always found the best way of removing the stone from plums and damsons is to freeze them then defrost them , they will the be soft and you just push the stone out through the fruit. Then make the jam

    1. Camilla

      That’s another great tip, thank you so much for sharing. I’ll try that next time I want to cook with Damsons:-)

  80. ClaireG

    Ooh I am sat here lusting after that crumpet – the jam looks fab! Funnily enough my gran mentioned damson jam the other day and bemoaned the stone issue and I said she should use a pitter! Great minds think alike 🙂

  81. Jane Willis

    It looks lovely. I haven’t made damson jam for years, since my little local greengrocer closed down – unless you are lucky enough to know somebody with a tree, they are almost impossible to get hold of. Although I’m not giving up hope yet: this week I’ve found greengages and Victoria Plums in the shops so maybe our traditional fruits are beginning to make a comeback.

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Jane. I have seen Greengages and Victoria Plums for sale every year in my local supermarket but have never seen a Damson for sale. Maybe farm shops might have them?

  82. Linzi

    Looks like you got a good set on the jam 😉

  83. Jane English @ Family Clan Blog

    This will probably another winner for the shows next year. Not managed to make any jam myself this year, but hopefully will be able to get back to it next year.
    I love damsons, when I was growing up we used to have a tree in the garden at cottage. We had most fruit trees that can be grown eaasily up here, have you tried gooseberry jam? I made it about five or six years ago, after a few pulled faces the kids tried it & no jam left in a couple of weeks!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks. No I’ve not had a gooseberry since I was a kid!

  84. shaheen

    I am so envious that you have damsons. I’ve yet to find them, I wish I could try some.

    1. Camilla

      Aaw, wish I could help!

  85. euphoriabuzz

    If you leave it for a year before opening it ferments slightly and you get fizzy jam, very nice.

  86. Clare Webb

    Looks wonderful!

  87. Jacqueline

    It looks gorgeous Camilla. I’ve never tried damson jam before, so I can’t quite capture the flavour in my mind.

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Jac, I hadn’t had it before either, it’s kind of sweet and tart at the same time:-)

  88. Jayne T

    I remember having a big Damson tree near us when I was a kid, I used to pick them and sell them to the local farm shop. Your recipe is a great way to use up all those damsons, I just need to find a damson tree.

    1. Camilla

      Well that was initiative:-) I do hope you find another damson tree!


    All these Jam posts are making me want to overcome my jam-o-phobia! They always look delicious and you make it seem so easy to do!

    1. Camilla

      Thank so much, but it is really easy and practise makes perfect:-)

  90. Laura@howtocookgoodfood

    Oh this does sound perfect as I have access to many damsons down at the allotment. Will certainly use your recipe when I get round to making some jam, looks great!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Laura and do let me know how you get on:-)

  91. Anneli (Delicieux)

    Lovely jam, lovely story too. That poor Damson tree, ignored for so long and now have a come back with this fab jam! What a happy feeling to put these lovely little plums to such good use. Your jam looks great and great tips on getting the stones out. Thanks for entering this into Four Seasons Food! xx

    1. Camilla

      Thank you Anneli. Yes the poor Damson Tree has been ignored and could do with a good pruning as she is somewhat wirey and over-grown, which is why I had to stand on the top of a step ladder to reach some of the plums with a fishing net but then found shaking the branches worked better:-)

  92. Javelin Warrior

    I never realized how small damson plums are! If they’re tiny enough to be pitted by a cherry pitter, then they really are tiny… I love the color of the jam – such a vibrant ruby-red… Just lovely, Camilla!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Mark, yes they are just a thin layer of plum around a small stone, I think they need a re-design really:-)

  93. Elizabeth

    Sounds intriguing! I’ve never tried a damson fruit before (I have honestly never even heard of them before this!) What a lovely coloured jam though. Thanks for sharing with the Credit Crunch Munch!

    1. Camilla

      Thanks:-) They are just tiny plums Elizabeth, amazed you’ve not heard of them before but maybe they don’t grow on Shetland.

      1. Elizabeth

        Hardly anything grows on Shetland, to be honest, unless it’s protected in a polytunnel!

        1. Camilla

          Aah, Elizabeth sounds like you need a giant polytunnel for trees then!

  94. Adam

    I shouldn’t worry, I’ve never even managed to try damsons yet, I can’t find them anywhere! I find it weird that In my local supermarket I can buy fresh tumeric, but not something like damsons. I have yet to see them at Leicester market either. Maybe I’ll find them one day haha. When I do the first thing I’ll be doing is making jam, I hear it goes lovely with game and rich fatty meats like lamb.

    1. Camilla

      As they are such a pain to extract the flesh from I imagine they are not popular and therefore not grown commercially. I think you’ll just have to buy yourself a tree if you want Damsons:-)

  95. Janice

    Fantastic! I love Damson jam and have always just left the stones in and fished them out as we ate the jam! That was how my gran made it anyway. We had neighbours that had two trees and used to give us loads, but they moved and the people who moved in cut down the trees.

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Janice. Yes leaving the stones in the jam would be the easiest solution but I’d worry that somone would crack a tooth open and it would probably be me. Shame on your neighbours for chopping their trees down, what a shame:-(

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