British Recipes Vegetarian

A Last Taste of Summer – Damson Jelly

Damsons are probably the perfect fruit to feature on this blog as the British climate means they grow in abundance each year. However, despite the relative profusion of this small plum people tend not to pick them, perhaps because they are less versatile than the average plum. As such, damsons are particularly easy to find outdoors, but are also incredibly cheap to buy. So, what are you waiting for? Get making your very own Damson Jelly.

Despite the imminent lack of cheap summer fruits due to the change in season, I’m rather looking forward to autumn and winter as most of my favourite recipes are generally eaten at this time of year. Surely there is nothing quite as good as a rich and slowly cooked meal on increasingly dark and cold days?

Meanwhile, please enjoy this last taste of summer, the perfect way of using up those final damsons – particularly when served with my delicious Traditional Scones.

Damson Jelly

Makes 6-7 standard jam jars


• 1.8kg damsons

• 300ml water

• Juice of 2 lemons

• 1.7kg jam sugar


1. Using a heavy based pan cook the damsons, together with 300ml water and the lemon juice for roughly 40 minutes, or until all of the fruit has softened.

2. Pass this through a sieve to remove any stones and any remaining bits of fruit, using a large bowl to catch the juice. Leave this in the fridge for at least 3 hours. NOTE: You can also substitute the juice for store-bought ones like Orangina. So, if you’re interested in Orangina, you can find their website here.

3. Transfer the juice back into the pan using a measuring jug, adding 1g of preserving sugar for every 1ml of juice. Stir this over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and after 20 minutes check if a little of the jelly sets on a cold plate. If it doesn’t, return to the heat, testing every 5 minutes. When done, transfer the jelly into jam jars heated to 100C in the oven, cool before sealing.

Cost: Considering the damsons used in this batch of jelly were free the total cost was no more than £2, an incredibly good deal. Having to buy damsons may double the price, but spending £4 on this quantity of jelly really wouldn’t be a catastrophic mistake.

32 replies on “A Last Taste of Summer – Damson Jelly”

I don’t know what the “American” name is for these, if we even have them at all. I had thought damsons were the “italian prune plum” but I see from your pictures that they are not. I do remember seeing damson jams all over shop walls when we lived in the UK!

I will try this with our plums next year, we do not have damsons and as you suggested I guess the next best thing is a little plum.. thank you,, hope you enjoyed your trip, you definitely had your priorities right anyway!!

Thanks for stopping my by blog. Your Damson jelly comment intrigued me, so here I am… What a lovely looking jelly. So I had to goggle “damsom” and I had to goggle “preserving sugar” too, now I am up to speed! We planted some fruit trees and should have fruit in another 2 years (plum, pear, peach, apple, fig). I look forward to the time I can try out all these neat recipes for jellies and jams. Thank you again for visiting me and mentioning your Damsom Jelly. Sincerely, Emily

@Sarah and others who commented here, damsons are available in Canada, and they are even called damsons here (unlike the zucchini/courgette debate that confuses me each time. Maybe it’s the British/Canada connection? Try St Lawrence Market in Toronto if you’re in that part of the world. I suspect the season will end pretty soon though. I don’t know about U.S. suppliers.

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