Damson jelly

Makes enough for 4-5 small jam jars
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Damson jelly can be eaten on toast, or added to a pan when you are deglazing the base of a roasting tin to make a sauce that can be spooned over roasted chicken or lamb. It is also good served alongside a strong hard cheese such as Montgomery's cheddar or aged Parmesan. Simple and quick to make, it will keep well in a sealed jar in the fridge for several months.

2.5kg/51/2lb damsons
1 sharp crisp apple, such as Cox's
The juice of one lemon
750g/11/2lb caster sugar

Rinse the damsons, discarding any bruised or blemished fruit as you do so. Peel, core and chop the apple. Place the damsons in a large heavy-based non-reactive pan. Pour over enough water to give a 1cm depth but no more and bring to a simmer. Cook gently over a medium heat for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Tip the contents of the pan into a muslin-lined large sieve; this helps to obtain the clearest jelly. Let the juice slip through gently on its own – it may need to be left overnight in order to do so. Return the juice to the pan along with the lemon juice and sugar. Now boil steadily without stirring for eight to 10 minutes. As the jelly reduces, skim any scum off the surface. To test whether the jelly is set, place a spoonful on to a chilled plate – it should be the consistency of a thick syrup.

Ladle the hot jelly into sterilised jars (a hot dishwasher cycle and a quick drying blast in the oven will do the trick) and allow to cool completely before placing in the fridge or a cool dark place.

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