Back to London fruit for a while, in order to broaden our record of the varieties of plums that grow there and provide a recipe I haven’t tested myself.
On a fruit day last autumn at an allotment in Raynes Park – London, where I had been invited to judge a jam contest, I met a new allotment owner who had a damson tree. I must say that in this particular allotment there are many fruit trees.
Discussing what to do with the damsons, he mentioned damson curd. I said it was an interesting recipe to look for, which I did in the following days. I found one that sounded good and sent him the link, with an offer to test it with some of his damsons. He replied to thank me for sending the link and said that they would make it themselves.
I must say I was slightly disappointed, as I had searched for information and wouldn’t see a kilo of damsons. There was no reciprocity.
Anyway there was a positive side to the story. First I had found out about damson curd, which I wouldn’t have thought of if we hadn’t talked. And second, somebody did something with their own fruit, which is always good to know.
Damson curd recipe
The beauty of email is that you can find old conversations quickly. The person actually made the damson curd and offered to bring a sample at Abundance Wimbledon Fruit Day. I didn’t see him though, so couldn’t taste the result. I can only provide the link to the plum curd recipe I had sent to him: www.thompson-morgan.com/plum-curd-recipe. I guessed he just used damsons instead of Victoria plums, as I would have done.
Something to test in the future! And the name of the allotments where I judged this jam contest, tasted such a great lemon marmalade – I remember very well – and where we could see so beautiful baskets of flowers, fruits and vegetables: Cottenham Park allotments, South West London, 2.2 miles away from the All England, home of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships… Blessed location!
I quite like damson jam. It is slightly tart. I was given damsons at the beginning of September and made some. I had brought a jar of it at the Wimbledon Common Stables Open Day and somebody liked it so much that she came on purpose to buy some at Abundance Fruit day a week later. I hadn’t brought any on that day, so I took her email address. Unfortunately I couldn’t read her handwriting and despite trying several spellings I couldn’t reach her. A shame she wouldn’t have the pleasure to eat some of this jam she liked so much.
The consistency of the jam was great. Not too set, just right. I must have cooked it for just ten minutes, and it set by itself quite nicely. I remember taking off the stones one by one during the cooking, and just after, as it is difficult to remove them from the raw fruit.
More on damsons, including visuals: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damson.