2kg damsons, stoned.
2kg granulated sugar.
Heat the damsons and water in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat until the damsons are soft.
Only then, add the sugar in about three portions, stirring thoroughly between each.
When the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat and bring the jam to a .
At least 105C.
Allow to cool a little and add the knob of butter which should help remove any “foam” on the surface.
Heat the jars in a very low oven to sterilise and avoid them craking when the hot jam is poured in.
Pot the jam, add the lids, wash to remove any spills and label.
The word “stoned” when applied to damsons is misleading as it doesn’t describe the hours of work getting out the pesky stones! I cut around the waist of the damson and, with a twist, the top half should come away. Another way of cutting them is to place the damson on a board and cut down with the knife at the waist and roll the damson under the knife, pressingdown hard. If the stone doesn’t easily come out of the other half, that whole piece goes into a bag for freezing. After a day or so in the freezer, the remaining stones ar easier to remove.
Some people remove the stones from the jam before adding the sugar but this can be a bit hit and miss!
Weigh the stoned damsons and then use the same weight sugar.
Preserving sugar isn’t needed for this jam.
In addition to using the temperature to check if the jam will set, I also use the “wrinkle” method. You can use a plate that has been chilled in the fridge or, like me, a clean dry area on a stainless steel draining board which quickly conducts the heat from the jam. Place a small teaspoonful of jam on the surface and then allow a minute or so to cool. The jam should feel thick and viscous and, if you push your finger through it, leave a “wake” of small wrinkles either side of your finger. It is done.