The Shropshire Prune

The Shropshire Prune is our very own damson, possibly the oldest known variety of damson in the UK, having been named as such on a piece of tapestry dating from the late 1500s that is housed in Shrewsbury museum. There are several trees around the farm and we always have a glut. Damsons make my favourite jam and also are a delicious alternative to sloes in fruit gin. I have been busy making both this week. 


20160922_192818-e1474645590482-180x300.jpgFirst the damson gin – I am not sure I should admit to making in a demi-john but it always get drunk so why not! First pick your damsons, I use about 6 lbs damsons, 3 lbs sugar and 1 litre of gin (the cheapest I can get at the supermarket!). 


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Prick each damson a few times and add to demi-john, when about 4cm in jar cover with sugar, continue until jar is full to top then gradually add gin.


Seal with a stopper and shake. The gin will need regular shaking until all the sugar has dissolved. Store in a dark place for flavours and colour to develop. 


The damson gin will be ready to drink by Christmas but if you can keep a little longer improves with time!


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I love making jam and sell it in the B&B. Generally I use equal quantities of fruit and sugar but as I don’t like stones or skin in my jam I make a fruit puree first using 3 lbs damsons and 1/2 pint water and stewing gently. I then add 1 lb sugar for every 1 pint of puree and boil and pot as I would any other jam. 


The end result is delicious, if I do say so myself!