Try this recipe for homemade damson jam, then check out our damson cobbler, damson slice, sloe gin, plum jam and more autumn recipes.

Looking for more seasonal preserves? Browse our collection of jam recipes and chutney recipes. Other autumnal favourites include apple jelly and tomato chutney.


  • 2kg damsons
  • 2kg granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter


  • STEP 1

    Sterilise the jars and any other equipment before you start. Put a couple of small plates in the freezer, as you’ll need these later for testing whether the jam is ready (or use a sugar thermometer).

  • STEP 2

    Put the damsons into a jam pan or a large, wide, heavy-based pan. Leave the stones in (see tip below). Add 300ml of water and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the fruit is soft.

  • STEP 3

    Tip in the sugar and stir over a very low heat for 10 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat, bring to a rolling boil, then rapidly boil for 15-25 minutes or until the jam reaches 105C (setting point) – avoiding stirring until it has. If you don’t have a thermometer, test the jam by spooning a little onto a cold saucer. Wait a few seconds, then push the jam with your fingertip. If it wrinkles, the jam is ready. If not, cook for a few minutes more and test again with another cold saucer.

  • STEP 4

    Remove from the heat, skim off any scum, then stir the butter into the surface (this helps to dissolve any remaining scum). Leave for 15 minutes so the fruit can settle – if you decant the jam too soon, all the fruit will sink to the bottom. Pour into sterilised jars, label and seal.


Damsons are a clingstone fruit, with flesh that clings to the stone, making them hard to remove. If you don't like the idea of leaving the stones in, you can cut down the length of the damson and twist, then use a knife to lever the stone out. Another option is to strain the jam after cooking, although this will give a different texture. Alternatively, just leave them in but warn your guests!

Check out more of our best jam recipes

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*Nutritional information is per tablespoon


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