Category Archives: Damsons

She’s got the drupes – or what to do with a glut of plums, damsons, sloes et al

It’s OK, I haven’t got “flop bot” like Tricki Woo.* What we have had is a fantastic season for the fleshy stone fruit, known as drupes; including the whole of the plum collection. The first to really cause me fun and games were the green plums which I wrote about previously. Next have been the damsons from Saxtead Mill House pub. When Ruth first showed me the tree I promised to come back; but I don’t think she believed me. The next thing I knew was a bucket full of plums arrived. These I felt would be too small and fiddly to stone so I just rinsed them and brought them up to the boil to make jelly. I had hoped the stones would separate from the pulp enough so that I could remove the stones and call it jam, but this was not the case.  Jelly it was. Having strung my jelly bag up from the cup hooks overnight I could not stand to leave so much pulp going to waste. Having made the jelly I decided to spend the evening forcing the pulp through a sieve to make damson cheese.

If you have not made a fruit cheese before here is a quick how to:

Use the pulp from making a fruit jelly, transfer the pulp to a sieve and force through using the back of a spoon to create a fine, smooth paste. Weigh the pulp and add an equal weight of sugar. Cook in a heavy bottomed pan, stirring frequently until you get the “Red Sea” effect, ie when you drag a wooden spoon through it there is a distinct parting which takes a second or two to fill. Put the mix into sterile warmed pots or moulds, I use little ramekins. Ideally store for a couple of months and then turn out and slice. This is great with dairy cheese or on its own with Suffolk rusks or scones.

* Foot note: so much nicer than hyperlinks don’t you think….

Do you remember the James Herriot vet books? Mrs Pumphrey had a spoilt little dog called Tricki Woo; it, James and Tristan suffered from Tricki’s flop bot

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