Monday, 17 September 2018

Damsons


I had almost given up hope of finding any Damson plums this year, but happily discovered some a couple of weeks ago at a farmer's market.
 Damsons have much more depth of flavour and colour than other plums, and their taste is so good.
I used them on my return home to make an extremely quick and easy Damson Conserve.
Simply wash the fruit, make cuts in the skin, then cover the fruit with half its weight in sugar. Leave this overnight to macerate and then boil it up the next day adding the juice of one lemon (I used one kg of fruit). Once the mixture reaches the boil, turn it down, and let it gently roll, keep on stirring - it should then be ready for bottling at the end of 12 - 15 minutes. I tend to scoop out the stones whilst cooking - at this stage they come away easily from the fruit.
Once cooled it is ready, not only to have on crusty bread or scones, but to make, what in my opinion, is the best ice-cream in the world.

🍦 🍦 🍦 🍦 🍦 🍦
Damson & Sloe Gin Ice Cream
Use 300 ml double cream gently whipped into soft peaks, 
then added 300 ml creme fresh &
100 ml Greek yogurt
300 grams damson conserve
gently fold all together.
Place in your ice cream maker - whilst mine was churning I added a liqueur glass of Sloe Gin, but you can use plain gin; adding alcohol makes ice cream softer and smoother, and gives it that little je ne sais quoi. If you don't have any just leave it out.
If you don't have an ice cream maker place in a container and put in the freezer. Churn with a spoon from time to time, adding the alcohol should you wish. 
This makes one litre but you will very definitely want more.

39 comments:

  1. I know all about the jam which has always been my favourite - despite my mother having a strong prejudice against all plum jams, apparently because it used to be the cheapest sort when she was young and everyone knew that times were tough if you only had plum jam in the cupboard! The ice cream sounds delicious. There are still a few damson trees growing wild in the hedgerows around here, the legacy of the days when this was a commercial fruit-growing area.

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    1. We had three trees in our garden when we lived in Hertfordshire, but then I didn't know about using them to make ice cream. I am sure that they were much more readily available when I was a child than they are today.

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  2. I love the ice cream recipe, I will give it a go with fig jam.

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    1. You can really make that ice cream with any homemade jam. If your fig jam is not too sweet you could add 3 tablespoons of condensed milk to the mixture to make it richer.

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  3. That icecream looks tantalizing Rosemary and as I see easy to make, I shall give it a go. Your photos are as always magnicificent, also first one with Anemones and Heuchera, great!

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    1. You are right Janneke the background to the photo does look just like a Heuchera, but it is in fact a grapevine - it is possible to make a bunch of black grapes at the top righthand side.

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  4. Replies
    1. I love this ice cream - it is an annual treat as long as I am lucky and find some Damsons.

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  5. Lovely recipes, Thankyou. I remember spending hours taking out all the stones before cooking. Wish I’d had your recipe then:) B x

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  6. How I wish I could try damsons, I have never seen them here. Your conserve recipe is so simple. I would love to try it and the one for ice cream. I cook fresh blueberries (usually 2 LBS.) with just one ingredient, one cup of local honey.

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    1. I understand that Damsons are a particular British fruit, which sadly appears to be on the decline.

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  7. Yummy!

    I haven't heard of damsons before.

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    1. I search high and low to find Damsons at this time of year as they are so flavoursome and delicious.

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  8. Hello Rosemary, Your beautiful damson conserve looks like melted jewels. Whenever I think of plum jam, I think of the British animation "Rabbit" by Run Wrake, which heavily features this jam. I like humor of the image (in the film) of the kitchen cabinet entirely filled with jars of plum jam. (If you watch this on Youtube, be forewarned that this is a very strange and surreal little film, although it does have a good moral portraying the way we are willing to destroy the world for selfish gain.)
    --Jim

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    1. I will check the animation film of "Rabbit" out on Youtube sometime today - thanks.

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  9. I don't know how many years it is since I ate Damson Jam -most likely over 50. That ice cream looks wonderful as well. I haven't come across damsons here - possibly further south. Enjoy.

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    1. It appears that Damson trees are a particularly British tree Susan, which sadly are becoming rarer here.

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  10. Certainly looks delicious. We have a specialty grocer nearby. I will check for Damson plums. I fear it is too late in the season here.

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    1. It would be worthwhile trying some if you ever get the chance to buy them.

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  11. Oh, how delicious looking. Your plum jam recipe is so easy - I think I can still find plums in the market, although I don't know that they will be Damsons. The ice cream is new to me and looks irresistible.

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    1. If I find just a few Damsons each year then I am happy because I can then make the ice cream.

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  12. My dear mum made fabulous damson jam - also Victoria plum, lemon curd, strawberry, and marmalade - I recall the smell when cooking and the taste when eating on my crunchy toast. Oh for those childhood days again. . . . . . .without dealing with hurricanes, just rain, haha!!!

    Mary x

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    1. Glad it conjured up childhood memories for you Mary - my next favourite plum is the Greengage, but they too are becoming much harder to find.

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  13. Used to make jam a lot when I was young(my mum made all kinds of gathered fruit jam- apple- bramble- elderberry- strawberry etc) I helped with the picking but it was very time consuming every autumn and when she went out to work again mid 1960s and bought a fridge she just started buying shop jam as it was easier and she didn't have the time. Probably jam making was a ration habit anyway for her generation which died out slowly when it stopped in 1954. All the things I remember from my childhood days, food wise (cakes, baking, sweets, home recipes) appear to be having a resurgence again after dropping out of sight for a few decades. Even knitting is popular now which was something only aunts and grannies did years back. I like plums, grapes, oranges, and nectarines. I've been enjoying Back in time for the factory last couple of weeks. Very evocative, like your photos. Thank God Smash didn't last- taste was disgusting. Wonder if they still make it?

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    1. I never made jam at all until recently but my mother was a jam maker just like yours. It is so much nicer than the bought stuff, however, I don't make a huge amount - usually just Damson and Apricot - both of which I can then make into a special ice cream treat.
      I had to think twice about what Smash was, but then I remembered that it was that disgusting synthetic mashed potato. The other rather disgusting product I remember were those Fray Bentos steak and kidney pies that came in a tin with a plasticky pastry on top.

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  14. I shall try making some ice cream using the method without an ice cream maker. I have some damson preserve (a little gift from DiL) and it would be just right for this recipe. Adding a drop of gin also sounds good!

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    1. Hope it works out well for you and that you enjoy.

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  15. Oh my gosh Rosemary, I could eat one nowπŸ€— Delicious and I’ll keep my eye out for Damsons when they come into season here! I’ll have to wait until March but I know they will be worth it,😘

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    1. Hope you are fortunate and find some Damsons - it makes the most delicious jam and also the ice cream is sublime.

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  16. What a lovely post :) Must look for some Damsons...
    Love from Titti

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    1. Damsons are my favourite fruit at this time of the year - have a lovely Sunday Titti and may the sun shine on you.

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  17. Dearest Rosemary,
    Had to laugh with your statement that in your opinion this is the best ice cream.
    Looking at your photo of it; it HAS to be true!
    Wow, that is a treat for anyone able to still eat sugary treats.
    Sending you hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. It's our annual September treat.

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    2. Damsons are the best , one just takes another ! I never tried the ice-cream though , but I take your words for it ...must be delicious !

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    3. I always watch out for Damsons during September - nice to see you back again Jane.

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  18. That sounds delicious I have seen lots of damsons this year but couldn’t think what to do with them. I expect they have all gone over now. Sarah x

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    1. If you can still get some Sarah then grab them as quickly as you can and make yourself some jam - it is absolutely delicious and very moorish - it is my favourite.

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