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Our neighbour has a damson tree with much of the tree being in our garden.  Each year it is full of damsons but have never picked the ones our side because I don't really know what to do with them.  I do not want to make jam so is it best to freeze them and then use for crumbles etc?  if so do I need to stone them and/or cook them before freezing?image



  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,138

    They'll take up less space in the freezer if stoned and all the recipes I have for damson crumble, damson pie, damson cobbler, damson compote etc say remove the stones first.   You can find recipes on BBC Food by putting damson in the search box.

    You can also use whole ripe damsons to make damson gin which is actually nicer than sloe gin.   Same method.

    Make sure you have your neighbours' permission to pick the fruit as, technically I believe, they belong to them.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Thank you for this will look for recipies on BBC Food .  No problem with neighbour as he never picks them  - says he can't be bothered.  That's why I thought I'd use them this year as they are always just left to  fall and it is such as waste.

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,104

    Damson Chutney is dather nice too.

  • Thank you, have been looking at recipies so will be picking later today!

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114

    How can you do Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy if you remove the stones first?

    In your haste to freeze them do not forget to eat them fresh.  Raw if they are ripe.

    Damson gin, crumbles, pies, with custard, chutney, jam, jelly.  Making my mouth water!

    Have a word with your neighbour and if he says 'Go ahead' give him a jar.

    By the way, you will find it very hard to stone them before cooking them.  The stones usually rise to the surface when you add the sugar if you are making jam or jelly.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,847

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,104

    Ours are no where near ready for picking. Normally ours would be ready the first week in Spetember at the earliest.

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,138

    My poor damson got frosted at blossom time so we have about a dozen meagre fruits.  I've now given the tree a good prune with a view to training it espalier fashion if I can and maybe putting fleece over it at night next spring.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Reading your replies I am now wondering if they are actually damsons.  I have just picked them (August 10th) they are small, deep purple and very soft.  I have tasted a couple and they are quite sweet but the skins are a bit sharp.  They are definately suitable for eating raw - does this sound like they are damsons or are the plums??

  • pr1mr0sepr1mr0se Posts: 1,185

    Damson gin is delicious, and doesn't taste like gin at all.  I have some still from last year, and it is lovely as a liqueur or with soda water (or lemonade if you prefer something sweet) and lots of ice - very refreshing in hot weather!

    If the fruit that you have tasted is sweet, then I doubt that they are damsons which are quite unplatable raw.  Perhaps they are a variety of a small plum - but could still be treated in the same way.  If the fruit is soft, btw, it would be easy to remove the stones using a cherry stoner. 

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