Damson and blackberry jam – reduced sugar

The morello cherry jam being now a distant memory, I decided to have a go at making some more jam, after picking up a punnet of damson plums at my local greengrocer’s for £1. After they’d been destoned, they weighed 13 ounces. Together with 8 ounces of thawed out frozen blackberries from my foraged stash, I made jam using the following invented recipe:


21 ounces (1 lb 5 oz) of fruit
Juice of half a lemon
12 ounces of sugar.


Stew the plums with several tablespoons of water – enough to create a thick mass of stewed fruit, while ensuring that the plums don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. While the plums are heating up, tie the stones (which will probably have a lot of pulp sticking to them) into a muslin cloth. Place the “bag” of stones into the mixture.

When the plums are almost cooked, add the blackberries and simmer the mixture for another couple of minutes.

Take the pan off the heat, and remove the muslin bag. Put it to one side to cool. To the pan, add the sugar and the lemon juice. Stir thoroughly to dissolve the sugar. Put back on the heat and bring to a brisk boil, stirring continuously until the jam sets. Near the setting point, the muslin bag will be cool enough to allow you to squeeze the pulp into the pan.

With the quantities I used, it took about 15-20 minutes from the addition of the sugar to the setting point. I actually think that you’re better off making jam in moderate quantities as opposed to massive amounts, because the setting time is so much quicker if you’re making less (it took ages for the cherry jam to set, and I think it was because I was making a vast amount in one go).

One other thing: this jam tastes fantastic, but I would probably use a smaller quantity of blackberries in relation to plums next time – simply because I personally prefer the taste of plum jam to that of blackberry jam. Also, I’m not sure if the muslin bag/pulp thing made any difference. You could probably leave this bit out.