There is something exciting about being given plentiful fruit from friends gardens. This weekend I had several bags of damsons, pears and plums and so got to researching and planning. I settled on damson jam and my first go at making muffins.

Damson Jam

My ingredients:
Approximately 4lbs damsons
¼ pint water
4 lbs sugar

My method:
So I make jam the way my mummy taught me and I don’t remove the stones first ( that would frankly be a nightmare!)
1. I put the damsons into a pan with the water and simmer gently until the fruit becomes soft. I find it helpful to press the damsons with a wooden spoon to encourage them to break up and release the stones.
2. When the damsons have broken down it is then fairly easy to remove the stones as they come up to the surface.
(some people put the stones back in the pan in a muslin bag to help with the level of pectin but on this occasion I didn’t need to)
3. I then add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.
4. Now is the time to bring the pan to the boil and boil rapidly for about 10 minutes until the jam sets when tested. ( I test it by putting a spoonful on a cold plate and checking if it sets when cool)
5. Now is a good time to remove any stones you missed earlier that have now appeared at the surface.
6. I then remove any scum on the surface before potting the jam and sealing it whilst still hot.

This makes approximately 6lbs of jam

Plum and Ginger Muffins


I’ve recently bought some lovely muffin wrappers so I used these for my two batches of muffins.
This recipe came from the Waitrose website http://www.waitrose.com/home/recipes/recipe_directory/s/spiced_plum_and_yogurt_muffins.html
The recipe was simple and easy. I didn’t have any stem ginger in so I left that out and added a little extra ground ginger. The yoghurt helped to keep the muffins moist but light.

Pear and Ginger Muffins

For this batch I used the recipe in Nigella Express. I didn’t make any changes and it worked well.

I probably shouldn’t boast but my mother in law texted me today to say that my muffin making experiment was a success – they were the best she had ever had! Compliment indeed!

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