I love jam, all flavours whether it’s store-bought or homemade I can’t resist it. Spread it on hot croissants, brioche, swirl through porridge, sandwiched with peanut butter or my favourite on good crusty bread, it’s my favourite way to eat it. Sometimes simple things are better.
Speaking of simple things, like most jam recipes this one is very simple and easy to prepare, however you do need to prepare the damsons in advance by leaving them to macerate in the sugar and lemon juice refrigerated for up to 2 days before you make the jam. Once its had it’s two days in the fridge and is ready to be used simply put them into a preserving pan, add some Amaretto and bubble away. Macerating the jam makes the flavour more concentrated and intense.
I adore the smell and taste of Amaretto and added a decent amount, 3 tablespoons to be exact. Use as much or little as you like. It’s there to bring out the fruitiness of the fruit. To test for the setting point I use a thermometer. I find this method more accurate and this way your always going to have a jam that sets.
When we first viewed our house the little tree outside it had a few round, purple hued fruits hanging from it. Originally I thought them to be plums but when they started fruiting this year they we so much smaller than regular plums and darker too. We tried a couple and found them to be really tart and sour. Our investigation began!
I fell in love with our home as soon as we saw it and I’m so delighted to have a lovely tree bearing fruit in the garden. We’ve seen it blossom in beautiful little pink flowers this past spring then gradually fruits began to develop on the tree. How exciting!
We googled different types of plums and found out that we had a damson tree in the garden. These smaller than average plums are in prime season during late August, early September and are a deep purple shade. A tad too bitter to eat as they are, they are however perfect to bake with and what better way to put them to good use then make jam.
The book this recipe is from in The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook – Rachel Saunders. If you like making jam both classic and ones with slight twists then I highly recommend this book. It’s listed in seasons and month’s for each chapter and it filled with delicious recipes. Marmalade and jams both in such mouth-watering flavours will make you wanting to try each and everyone. It’s a real jam lovers book.
While making this tart preserve I forgot how much I love making jam. I was fortunate enough to get my preserving pan from my mum and recommend you seeking one out if you enjoy canning and preserving. The smell, the soft gentle bubbling of fruit and then the taste of freshly made jam is somewhat indescribable.
Making jam is perfect for rainy, quite days. You can lose yourself in the soft simmer of jam and ponder on what to use it for other than smearing it over a nice slice of bread. I’ve already bookmarked a portion of this precious preserve for a scrumptious recipe, stay tuned to find out what it will be. For now I’m going to enjoy my ruby-red jam on a nice slice of sourdough, yum!
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Yields – Six 225 grams (8 ounce) Jars
- 4 1/2 pounds Damsons (pitted)
- 1 1/2 pounds Caster sugar
- 100 ml (1/2 cup – 5 teaspoons) Freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
- Place the pitted damsons along with the sugar and lemon juice in a large container with a tight-fitting lid and leave to macerate in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
- Place damsons with all the juices and sugar into a preserving pan followed by the amaretto and bring to a boil. Simmer until you reach setting point 105C (220F). Keep on stirring frequently to make sure the sugar doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.
- Transfer to sterilized jars and seal.
* To sterilise my jars I soak the jars and there lids in very hot soapy water for around 10-15 minutes. I then rinse them of under hot water and set them and the lids on a baking tray. Place them in a 160C, 140C(fan), 320F for 10 minutes to dry out. Be very careful not to touch the inside of any of the jars throughout this process as this will de-sterilise them.
* Recipe from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook – Rachel Saunders
* This Jam will last unopened for up to one year.
* Once opened store in the fridge for up to one month.