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Spiced Damson Chutney
Spiced Damson Chutney
added by Jessiejam

Of all the chutneys I make, this is definitely one of my favourites. It goes really well with almost anything - I love it with sausages and mash or cheese sandwiches.

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Prep time
  • 30-40 mins
Cook Time
  • 2-3 hours
  • 6 - 8 medium sized jars
  • 3 lb damsons
  • 2 heaped teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 small cinnamon sticks
  • 1 oz allspice berries (or to your taste)
  • 1 dessertspoon cloves (or to your taste)
  • 1 pint cider vinegar/1 pint malt vinegar
  • 1 lb cooking apples
  • 3 largish onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb seedless raisins
  • 1 lb dark soft brown sugar
  • 1 lb demerara sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
You've got two options here. One is to halve the damsons, slitting them down the natural line of the fruit and twisting out the stones – very tedious. The other is to stew them gently with ½ pint of the vinegar and then, wearing rubber gloves, remove the stones as they separate themselves from the flesh - also tedious but, either way, it will only take about 25 minutes and I promise you it is well, well worth it. Place them in a preserving pan, then core the apples but leave the peel on, and finely chop them in a processor. Then process the onions, adding both these to the pan. After that, crush the garlic and add that, followed by the ginger, raisins, sugar and the (remaining) vinegar. Then sprinkle in the salt and stir everything thoroughly. Now wrap the cinnamon, allspice and cloves in the muslin (or gauze) and tie the top loosely with the string to form a little bag, which should then be tied on to the handle of the pan and suspended among the rest of the ingredients. If you don't have anything to use as a bag, then just use ground cinnamon, allspice and cloves, which I discovered work just as well. Now bring everything to the boil, then lower the heat and let the chutney simmer very gently for 2-3 hours, stirring it occasionally and rather more often towards the end to prevent it sticking to the bottom. When almost all the vinegar has disappeared and the chutney has thickened to a soft consistency, do the channel test - if it is ready, when you draw a channel with a wooden spoon across its surface, it will leave an imprint for a few seconds without filling up with vinegar. While it is still warm, pour it into hot, sterilised jars, filling them as full as possible. Cover each with a waxed disc and seal tightly with a vinegar-proof lid. Label when cold and store the chutney in a cool, airy cupboard, leaving it to mellow for at least 3 months before eating. This keeps for yonks - I have a jar left from 2007 which is still lovely.
6 replies
Replied on

To get rid of stones just simmer whole damsons for 15-20 min till all goes to mush then pass thro a colander, pressing with a wooden spoon the pulp and skins will go through all you are left with are the stones.

Replied on

Thanks for this recipe jessiejam its fabulous x

Replied on

Delia's recipe says to stew the Damsons in their own juice before removing the stones: this one says in vinegar. Delia says use malt vinegar this one gives a cider vinegar option. The other similarities are because there is a correct ratio of sugar, vinegar and fruit. Also you don't want whole spices in your chutney - hence the muslin bag (pretty standard) Please read the recipe's properly before you make such accusations!

Replied on

I just checked Delia's recipe - Linda at the Mill - you are right! Shame on you Jessiejam.

Replied on

Dear Jessiejam,
'your' recipe is indeed delicious BUT it is actually Delia Smith's word for every word!
Please acknowledge's only fair after all!

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