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Photo Article from the Welsh Hovel Making Damson Jam with Joshua Part 3

Tom Winnifrith
Monday 24 August 2020

After his rather minor contribution to the damson depitting, Joshua bowed out of the jam making process at this point. But we were left with two bowls: pips, to which I added 20 ml of water, and, on the right, flesh, to which I added 450 ml, putting both on a low heat and stirring for 20 minutes. As you can see below, the flesh started to turn an increasingly joyful purple.

 At that point I sieved the pip puree, scraping away for a couple of minutes. This, I am told, adds flavour.

To my horror, I am then ordered to add 1.85 kg of sugar. This is one reason to cook from basic ingredients – it teaches you just what junk you are consuming. I had forgotten just how bad jam is for you.

Bringing this to the boil with the dissolved sugar, the jam started to turn a lurid pink.

But on cooling, it was back to a rich reddish purple. I let it cool, then put a spoonful on a cold plate and ran my finger through it. It did not wrinkle so I boiled for two more minutes, repeated the test and after another fail did another cycle. At that point, I saw wrinkling and so left everything to cool.


I then decanted. As the Mrs is due to give birth during the olive harvest this year, I cannot give my siblings olive oil for Christmas. But perhaps damson jam complemented by a bottle of my next project… damson gin?



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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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