Amount made depends on juice extracted (see step 3)
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juice of 2 lemons
preserving sugar (not jam sugar with pectin)
Jars must be sterilised before filling. Preheat the oven to fan 100C/conventional 120c/gas ½. Wash the jars in hot soapy water, rinse well and place on their sides in the oven for 15 minutes.
Britain's most famous damson growing area is the Lyth Valley in Cumbria, says Henrietta Green. There you can buy locally-made damson gin, damson vinegar, all manner of damson chutneys, jams and pickles and even damson cheese.
Wash the fruit, then tip into a preserving
pan with the lemon juice and 300ml/1?2 pint
water. Bring slowly to the boil, and simmer
for 30-40 minutes until the fruit is soft.
Carefully pour the contents of the pan
into a scalded jelly bag with a large bowl
set underneath to catch the juice (see the Step-by-step photo). Leave for several hours.
Measure the juice back into the pan,
then add 500g of sugar to every 500ml of
juice or 1lb sugar for every pint of juice.
Stir over a low heat until the sugar has
dissolved, then raise
the heat and rapidly
boil until setting point is
reached. Test this by
spooning a little on to
a chilled saucer. Cool
slightly then push with
your finger – if it
wrinkles it is ready. If
not return to the heat,
boil for 5 more minutes and test again.
Pot into warm sterilised jars and cool
before sealing. Can be eaten straight
away, but keeps for up to a year.