After making the elderberry chutney, I am itching to make another chutney. I look around the internet and am intrigued by ‘damson’. I am not sure what it is, and later I find out that it is a small plum.
When I attend the carers evening, one of the ladies has a damson tree in her garden and there is a lot of the fruit. There is so much that it just falls off the tree and there is only so much that she can consume. Most of the time it goes to waste. So she kindly offer to give me some.
Within the next few days, she rings me and ask me to pick the fruits that she has collected for me. The day that I want to collect the fruits seems to be an impossible day. My car had a flat tyre and I need to get to the previous garage that tightened the lock wheel nut too tight that it is impossible to remove the nuts. So I have to drive 12 miles to reach there. Since I have a flat tyre, my idea of pumping the tyre at regular intervals to reach there turns out to be a bad plan as the tyre turns flat after 5 minutes of driving. So there I have to wait more than 2 hours to get everything sorted, towing my car to the garage, having it fixed and managed to slot in the well-being therapy which I had to cancel earlier.
Well, I manage to pick up the fruits and then it is night-time. The big supermarket carrier bag holds more than 4 kgs of the fruits!. After picking and cleaning them, there is a lot of damsons. I eat some of them and leave them in the fridge. I only manage to cook them 2 days later, and in the meantime, damson, it is, for breakfast, lunch and dessert. All fresh from the fridge.
Here is the recipe.
I tried this chutney and I did not use any Demerara sugar, nor brown sugar. This is because the damson itself is dark and adding dark brown sugar will make it darker. Leaving out the brown sugar shows off the red colour (well, almost red, it’s just dark-ish).
Makes: 10 jars of various sizes
Time: 3 hrs
1.5kg Damson – stone removed and cut to half or quartered
3 Onion (about 150g each)
500g Bramley apples, remove core, cut to 1cm cube
1kg Granulated sugar
1.5L Malt vinegar
1tsp Garlic powder (or 4 Fat cloves garlic – chopped)
2 tsp Ginger powder (or 5cm fresh ginger – chopped)
2 tbsp Salt or to taste
1 tsp Cloves powder
2 tsp Cinnamon powder
1 tsp Nutmeg powder
2 tsp Black pepper powder
½ tsp Chilli flakes or more if you like
8 to 10 Jam jars
If you do not have the powdered spices, you can use fresh ones, like ginger or garlic and you can use cinnamon sticks, etc. Just tie them in a piece of muslin. Drop them in the pot and discard the pack before bottling.
- In a large pot, (sorry, I do not have a preserving pan. But if you have, do use it. I just use my regular soup pot. I am not fancy enough, but I am probably just frugal!) put everything into it and bring it to the boil. Stirring it regularly.
- Simmer for about 2 hours or more. Stir it regularly while simmering to avoid it sticking to the bottom and burning.
- When the mixture has thickened and the consistency is like that of a cake mixture, meaning, it of ‘dropping’ consistency. Or, in another word, gloppy, remove from the fire and leave to cool a little.
- Pour into sterilised jars and seal and label. Leave it to mature for about 6 to 8 weeks.
However, we eat them about a week after making. I still have 1 small Kilner jar and will keep it to mature.
My friends and my brother-in-law say that it is tasty. That is good enough for me.
I hope you enjoy my chutney journey.
Please ‘like’ and share in with your family and friends. Do send the URL link instead of cut and paste.
I hope you are encouraged to try making jams and chutney if you haven’t done so. If you have, perhaps you can share your experience. I would love to hear from others who are more experienced in making preserves.
Until the next post, keep warm.