Damson Jam / Damson Jelly Recipe

Damson Jam Recipe

Autumn bounty includes Damsons in the UK, and the trees are laden with them. People can’t get rid of them fast enough. The problem with damsons is that unlike, say, blackberries, you can’t eat them raw, so they often go unappreciated till they fall to the ground.

My daughter came home from a walk in the forest with her pockets bulging with damsons, so I decided to turn it into jam, something I’ve never done before.

Damson Jam / Damson Jelly Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Use equal parts of fruit to jam sugar, boil and store. Easy peasy Damson Jam. You can of course buy your Damsons, but half the fun is in the foraging!
Serves: 200ml
  • 200g Damsons
  • 250g (9oz) Sugar
  • 1 orange, washed
  1. Wash damsons and drop them into your pot.
  2. Squeeze the juice of the orange out over it.
  3. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes till the fruit is soft. (20 mins/100C/speed 2).
  4. After 20 minutes, remove from the heat. It's useful at this point to remove all the pips. If you keep the orange in at this point, you'll have a slight marmalade undertone to the damson jam. I'm not a fan of marmalade, so I prefer to remove the orange before adding the jam sugar.
  5. Boil for another 20 minutes at 100C/212F.
  6. Remove from the heat and tip the pot slightly. If the jam looks like it is creating a wrinkle, remove from heat and pour into steriised jars to keep for later, or into a jam jar to start using straight away.
  7. If it doesn't seem to be wrinkly yet, cook for a further five minutes before dispensing into jars. Remember that damsons have a lot of pectin in them and will set as it cools.



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3 Replies to “Damson Jam / Damson Jelly Recipe”

  1. I just adore damsons. My grandma used to have a big tree when we were little and it was an annual family ritual to pick them. This year we got lucky and found a bumper crop of wild ones in the hedgerows near my parents. So inspired we have planted our own damson tree – not sure when we’ll get any fruit but it is just starting to bud, v exciting 🙂

    P.S. Have you tried Nigel Slater’s damson + almond cake, total heaven!!

  2. Re your Damson Jam / Damson Jelly recipe.

    I notice that in your recipe you do not use any water !
    On researching for Damson Jam recipes others are boiling the damsons in water
    then adding the sugar, could you explain why your recipe doesn’t use water please. I like the idea of using an orange and so would like to use this recipe.

    I have 6lbs of Damsons so do not want to fail on making the jam well.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Sylvia – I can’t really comment on what others do, and I’ve never made it with water. This does make a really thick jam though, so it may be worth adding water if you wanted something more spreadable. Perhaps substitute some of the water for the orange juice. I have no idea why I’ve said drop the peel in above though – Damsons don’t need extra pectin!

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