Recently I bought some damson jam out of politeness at a local market. I don’t even like jam. When I got home I wondered what on earth I was going to do with it. I got some crusty white bread, some soft unsalted butter and a dollop of the damson jam and it was a revelation. I’m ashamed to say that the loaf and jar were consumed in one sitting. What have I been missing out on all these years? It turns out I do like jam but was left wondering where damsons had been all my life.
When I noticed some lovely damsons outside my local greengrocer I just had to have them – I’d run out of jam for one thing. They were crying out to be made into a crumble. As I didn’t have that many of them I added an apple to make it go a bit further and add a little sweetness.
As much as damsons are worth the effort, getting the stones out is a bit of a pain. Nonetheless it had to be done and was successfully completed with a knife, perseverance and brute force.I know that putting the fruit in raw results in better texture but I didn’t know what level of tartness I was dealing with, too much or too little sugar could have rendered it inedible so I played it safe.
You will need (for four large portions or six smaller ones):
- 2 handfuls damsons, halved and de-stoned
- 1 large cooking apple, cored and diced
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 175g plain flour
- 75 butter
- 50g light muscovado sugar
- Handful oats
Simmer the damsons, apples, water and first lot of sugar together until just soft.
Put the fruit into an oven proof dish and get the oven on at 190C.
For the crumble, rub the flour into the butter until you’ve got lumps, breadcrumbs or whatever level of crumbliness suits you. Stir in the light muscovado or caster sugar and then put this on top of the damson apple mixture. Scatter the oats over the crumble for good measure.
Place in the oven and wait 45 minutes or until lusciously golden brown.