Damson- The autumn treat.

I found some damsons in a specialty fruit and vegetable store the other day!

Damsons are small plums with a very rich flavour, but they are sour and astringent when raw, and therefore are mostly used in cooking.

They are available from farmers markets and specialty grocery stores during autumn. They are mostly used to make jams and preserves. The jam sets beautifully because of the high pectin content of the fruit. The colour of the skin is deep purple or nearly black and the flesh is firm and pale compared to the skin. I picked up them up thinking of making jam, but I changed my mind later and made a jelly instead – I have to tell you the result was heavenly. What surprised me was that the damson plums were nothing extraordinary (slightly tart and astringent when raw,) but when cooked the flavours became rich and fruity, and the color was beautiful.  I couldn’t believe how flavourful the jelly was!

I simply boiled the plums with some sugar and water until the fruit turned soft, and then sieved the cooked juices, added lemon juice to balance the flavors and then mixed it with some soaked gelatin to set.

I combined the jelly with the cooked cream dessert pannacotta, just as a top layer to finish. But for sure when I make it next time the jelly is going to be the main character. It was one of the best jellies that I have made…heavenly!!! Try  it if you can get hold of them.

 

Damson jelly

Damson-200 g

Water-200 ml

Sugar-50gm

Lemon juice

Powdered gelatine-5 g

Water- 2 tablespoon

Method

  • Soak gelatin in two table spoons of cold water.
  • Cook the damson with water and sugar until the fruit turns soft.
  • Sieve the juices from the mixture and discard the pulp and seeds.
  • Add enough lemon juice to balance the flavors.
  • Add soaked gelatin to the hot juice and mix well.
  • Pour on top of set pannacotta and chill in fridge until set.

 

Panna cotta

  • Cream- 250ml
  • Milk- 250ml
  • Sugar-  3 tablespoon
  • Vanilla extract- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Powdered gelatine- 1 tablespoon

Method

  • Soak gelatin in 3 tablespoons of cold water.
  •  Heat  cream and milk with sugar in a saucepan util it starts to boil.
  • Remove from heat and add the soaked gelatin and vanilla extract, mix well.
  • Pour into seving moulds and chill in fridge until set.