• Damsons
Damsons
Damsons are a small oval-shaped variety of plum with dark blue or purple skin and yellow flesh. The taste is usually quite sour, so they are best when cooked, which brings out their deep tangy flavour. You will find them in shops from the end of August to the end of October.

In the kitchen
The fruits' high pectin content makes them extremely good for jellies, jams and fruit cheese; they are also used to make chutneys and a variation of sloe gin. However, damsons are not just for preserving. They can be stewed to make compotes, or pie and crumble fillings. (If you find the taste of damsons is too strong, combine them with apples or blackberries.)

Damsons produce wonderful ice cream when puréed and churned with an equal volume of crème fraiche or mascarpone. Alternatively, make a sweet-sour damson sauce with sherry, sugar, and fresh spices such as root ginger to serve with fatty meats such as duck, lamb or pork.

Varieties
Cultivated damsons are sweeter and more versatile than the smaller wild damsons you may find growing in some hedgerows. Cumbria's Lyth Valley is particularly renowned for its damsons. Varieties are rarely specified in greengrocers, however there are ten listed in the National Fruit Collection, including Farleigh and Bradley's King, Blue Violet and Merryweather.

Related recipes

 
Lamb with damsons and rosemary dumplings
Lamb with damsons and rosemary dumplings
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Herb dumplings and fresh damsons add a touch of luxury to a flavourful lamb stew in Lotte Duncan's hearty recipe

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars



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Total time
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Welsh Saltmarsh Lamb with Pickled Damsons, Black Mountain Liqueur and Garlic Mash
Welsh Saltmarsh Lamb with Pickled Damsons, Black Mountain Liqueur and Garlic Mash
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From Angela Grey, a mouth-watering combination of succulent Welsh lamb with a rich syrupy glaze and creamy garlic mash

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Pickled Damsons
Pickled Damsons
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Angela Gray's pickled damsons are an excellent store cupboard standby to serve with grilled or cold meats.

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars



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Damson and almond pie
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Golden puff pastry with a dense damson and almond filling makes a sensational sweet course from Lesley Waters

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Damson gin
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Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars



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Avg user rating: 4 out of 5 stars



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Herdwick Lamb, Damson and Juniper Pie
Herdwick Lamb, Damson and Juniper Pie
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Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars



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Total time
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Glazed damson gin plums
Glazed damson gin plums
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The smooth, fruity taste of damson gin brings out the flavour of plums in Levi Roots pretty dessert

Avg user rating: 3 out of 5 stars



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Damson and vanilla cobbler
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Avg user rating: 4 out of 5 stars



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Damson Parfait
Damson Parfait


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Avg user rating: 4 out of 5 stars



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Total time
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