Looking for a damson recipe to use up a glut of fruit? This late summer fruit is great in many recipes: stirred into a fool, stewed to make jam or slow-cooked into a sauce to serve with meat. Damsons are blue-black fruit that look like small plums. Wild varieties are extremely tart, and so are best relegated to the jam jar. An old English recipe using damsons is damson 'cheese', which is a rich confection of fruit, potted and aged before eating.
Modern cultivated damsons (such as the Merryweather variety) can be eaten raw when ripe, although there is about as much stone as there is flesh. In general, they're best cooked, which brings out their sweet, spicy flavour. Many home-brewers are also eager to harvest the fruit to make damson 'wine' or damson gin.
Damsons are at their plentiful best in September.
Damson gin needs at least three months to mature before drinking.