Damsons signify that Autumn is here with their ripe purple fruits and they couldn't be easier to cook with, especially as a beginner gardener. Damson trees are one of the lowest fuss fruit trees to look after and gather fruit from. This guide will show you my top 3 speedy Damson recipes with equipment and ingredients you probably already have lying around the kitchen.

Damsons are a subspecies of the Plum family and have a really high fruit rate, great for bakers out there. Now the trees themselves may not be the most elegant or attractive but they are low fuss. I only prune mine if it gets damaged or a branch is really growing in the wrong place. If I need to prune I always do in summer to avoid silver leaf disease. However, unlike other fruit trees, such as apples, that need regular maintenance pruning to encourage fruiting, Damsons are almost the reverse. Neglect seems to bring bountiful fruit yields!

  1. Damson Gin Recipe
  2. How to make Damson Jam
  3. Making a Damson Crumble

Damson Recipes

So I’ve decided to give you my Top 3 speedy Damson recipes. September is the ideal time to harvest juicy Damsons and if you haven’t got your own tree you can often find people online complaining of too many Damsons. So you can always find someone with spare fruit to go and pick. Obviously always ask permission but they are really easy to harvest by simply twisting off the fruits. Now as a disclaimer, there are two camps of Damson cookers. Those who destone their damsons and those that dont. Destoning damsons is laborious but it does result in an easier eating experience. I tend not to destone my damsons for speed. It’s entirely up to you but you have been warned!

How to make Damson Gin

  • 500g Damsons Frozen
  • 75cl of Dry Gin
  • 250g Caster Sugar
  • Airtight container

This method for making you own Damson Gin could not be simpler.

homemade damson recipes

  1. Freeze your Damsons overnight in a bag or Tupperware
  2. Add the Damsons, Sugar and Gin to an airtight container like a mason jar or Kilner jar
  3. Give it a really good shake
  4. Put it into a cupboard, somewhere out of direct sunlight, for 2-3 months. Shaking each week to ensure the sugar has dissolved.
  5. When ready pass the gin through some muslin to sift out the debris and decant into a bottle. That’s it!

Damson Jam Recipe

  • 1kg Damsons
  • 1kg Caster Sugar

Again this method is so simple, especially if you can tolerate leaving the stones in the Damson. This way it’s effortless.

Damson jam recipe

  1. Add your Sugar to the largest pan you have and place on the highest heat of the stove or hob.
  2. Add the fruit and stir until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Bring to a rapid boil for 10 mins – don’t stir
  4. Whilst this is happening wash 4 jam jars. Then place in an oven or microwave to sterilise them. Usually, 5 mins does it.
  5. Either use a Jam thermometer to check if it has reached the setting point. Alternatively, use a cold saucer out of the fridge. Add a blob of jam onto it, if it quickly forms a skin it’s done. If not give it another 2 mins.
  6. Lift out your jars and use a ladle to pour the jam into the jar. Leave to cool then add your lids.
  7. This jam will store for over a year if you don’t devour it first!

Damson Crumble (Serves 6 or 4 hungry diners)

  • 800g Fresh Damsons
  • 1 tablespoon of Brown Sugar
  • 2 peeled and cored Apples
  • Crumble:
    • 250g Plain Flour
    • 160g Brown Sugar
    • 150g Butter

A home made damson crumble

This crumble recipe is so easy and delicious. Especially if you have unexpected guests. You can be kind and destone but if in a hurry I wouldn’t bother. Just explain to your guests to watch out when they tuck in. It depends on how friendly you are!

  1. Add your Damsons (stoned or not) to an ovenproof dish.
  2. Peel and core your two apples. Slice and add to the Damsons.
  3. Sprinkle over a tablespoon of brown sugar – any type of brown sugar will do.
  4. Make your crumble by adding all the crumble ingredients to a food processor. Blitz until it turns to crumbs.
  5. Cover the fruit and bake for 30 mins at 180c
  6. Serve immediately with cream or ice cream.

There we have my seriously simple Damson recipes. Unapologetically, they make the most of the tart taste of Damson without adding all sorts of other sweeter fruits. I like to keep things simple and celebrate the humble Damson. If you’ve liked this recipe why not let me know or show me your Damson success stories on social media? TweetFacebook or Instagram me to share your love of Damsons.

Happy Baking/Gardening!

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