Damson Plum Cordial

  
Plums are good but damson plums are exceptional.  My kitchen cupboards are a richer place for having found some damson trees last week. I couldn’t even reach them all, so I had to leave loads on the trees and mourn what could have been!

I’ve already done jam, jelly, cake, pie, gin, so what next? Well I’ve not tried this cordial recipe before so I thought it was worth a try. Delicious by itself but great as mixer too.

The recipe I first used was from a fab book called Booze for Free, but I have changed the quantities slightly to make the syrup lighter.

Ingredients

  • 1kg Damsons
  • 1.1kg Sugar
  • 1.25 litres water

It an easy recipe… simmer the damsons and water for up to 60 mins until their skins are peeling off. Strain through a muslin cloth. Add the sugar to the remaining liquid that’s strained off, simmer this for 3-4 minutes, skimming off any scum that sits on the surface.


Let it cool then pour into sterilised bottles. How easy was that? It  would make a nice gift if given with a bottle of gin this Christmas.

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Espresso Meringues with Damson Plum Sauce

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Oh my word, I could have polished off the whole tray. I am a glutton for meringues, I love the crisp shells with their chewy centres, they are a vehicle for cream and fruit, what’s not to like?

I’ve not made them before but they were ridiculously easy, this is not necessarily a good thing when one likes them so much. Damsons, also a favourite of mine are tart enough to offset the sweet meringue, and I had some previously picked and needing using, so it sounded like a good marriage to me.

Ingredients

4 egg whites
200g caster sugar
2 tbsp strong espresso coffee

for the sauce:
800g damsons (or other tart fruit)
120g icing sugar

Put your oven on 120C and line a couple of baking trays with baking paper.

Take a clean bowl, add egg whites and whisk into soft peaks, add the sugar a little at a time, whisking well as you go. Whisk until the meringue has firm peak and is thick with a shine to it. Carefully fold through the espresso, leaving it streaky if you wish.

Spoon the meringue into your prepared baking trays, (you don’t need to be too perfectionist here),bake for 1&1/2 – 1&3/4 hrs, until crisp on the outside and lift easily off the baking paper. Place on a wire rack to cool.

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Put the damsons in a pan with 50mls water and cook until soft. Then pass through a sieve. Into the purée add the icing sugar to taste. Cool until time to serve. Assemble however you like and serve with whipped or double cream.

Lots of variations to this dish, omit the espresso, use a different fruit such as raspberries, you get the idea, just enjoy them.