I have 3kg damsons, and I want to make jam. I have made a lot of jam in the past, but just wondered if the collective brains of MN have found a sensible, quick, simple way of removing the stones. I don't want to do a jelly, I want the proper fruit bits and skins, just would rather not have the stones left in.
Beyond me I am afraid. The alternative is spending hours standing over the bubbling mix picking them out with a slotted spoon as they rise to the surface, but there are thousands of the little buggers and your back aches after about half an hour! You can try cutting them in half around the cleavage and slipping the stone out, but that takes ages as well. I think you need to sit down watching the cricket on the telly for the whole afternoon session and just work your way through.
Well, I cooked the fruit, let it cool, then mashed the fruit, scraping out any stones I could feel, boiled them up for the bits of fruit and pectin, added sugar and boiled up, finding quite a few more stones. It's all in jars, cooling and the stuff loaded in the dishwasher. It's good.
Can't beat home made jam esp on a doorstep of home made bread. I've done strawberry and am going to do blackcurrant at the weekend. Also have a load of bilberries in the freezer to make 'mucky mouth jam'. Yum .
I am going for Plum brandy again - made it last year, and it was divine. Also regularly damson gin, and made creme de cassis/ creme de more mixed from the enormous glut of blackberries and currants. Was delicious but lethal. I used a river cottage recipe which involved stewing the berries in red wine and sugar, then topping up with vodka to store. Tastes like supercharged Ribena. Anyway, Annie, you sound like you've cracked it! I stew the damsons in just a small amount of water, then when they are soft, most stones rise to the surface and can be grabbed with plastic-gloved hands. Skimming too fiddly. I then get my hands in to feel for any remaining. Then I proceed with the sugar in for the jam.