Have you tried spiced damson chutney? I’d go so far as to say it’s the very best. The chutney champ. Don’t believe me? Make it once and you’ll see just how amazing spiced damson chutney really is.
Spicy, tangy, rich and delicious it goes with so many different types of foods. It’s an absolute gourmet gift from the culinary gods!
Products you need for this damson chutney recipe
There are a few essential items you will need for this recipe:
- Cast iron saucepan or preserving pan – a heavy bottomed saucepan or a quality preserving pan are a very important part of the chutney making process
- Cherry pitter – removing the stones from a damson can be tricky. Make it easier by using a cherry pitter
- Wax discs – keep things extra fresh by sealing the jars with these discs
- Mixing spoon – you’ll need a wooden spoon to stir the chutney mixture
- Raisins – know as ‘nature’s candy’ raisins will bring a nice sweet pop to your chutney
- Brown sugar – damsons are not naturally sweet, so some dark soft brown sugar will balance out the taste
- Cayenne pepper – bring a nice earthy spiciness to your chutney with some cayenne pepper
- Ground allspice – allspice will bring a wonderful spicy flavour to this dish
- Ground cinnamon – many recipes call for cinnamon sticks, as well as other spices, wrapped in a piece of muslin. For me, ground spices taste as good and make things a whole lot easier
- Ground ginger – a ginger kick gives this recipe an extra edge
- Juniper berries – these little berries will add a peppery fruitiness
- White wine vinegar – white wine vinegar adds a little acidity
- Balsamic vinegar – you could also use malt vinegar, but I think balsamic brings a deeper, sweeter taste
- Chutney jars – sterilised jars are needed to safely store the chutney
- Jar labels – use these labels to label your sterilised jars. You could even personalise them and give them to friends and family as a Christmas present
What do damsons look like?
They are small purple fruits that are part of the plum family. While plums are normally round, a damson tends to be oval in shape. They are also slightly smaller than plums.
What do damsons taste like?
While plums and damsons look similar, their flesh has a very different texture. Plums are juicy and sweet, while the flesh of a damson is a lot drier and the taste is not as sweet.
What is chutney?
A spicy, savory dip, it is made from fruits, vegetables and herbs with added vinegar sugar and select spices. It pairs well with anything from curries and cooked meats to cheese and bread.
The term chutney used to be specific to a certain mixture of fruits,vegetables and spices with a specific texture. Now, there are so many different types made from a large range of ingredients and the definition is a lot looser.
What are the origins of chutney?
Originally a way of preserving food, chutneys date back over 2,000 years to the Indian subcontinent. Back then, it was made in a form of paste or thick sauce, much different to the chunky texture of modern chutneys.
It was eventually picked up by the Romans and, later during the colonial era, the British. The Brits made it commercially in the 20th century and it eventually became a popular dish all over the world, with many more different types springing up.
When are damsons in season?
They are usually harvested between late August and October. This makes them perfect for fruity comfort food that brings a touch of summer, like jams and pies.
How do you know when damsons are ripe?
If it is firm, it’s not ripe. A ripe damson should be a little bit soft. Even when it’s soft and ripe, it won’t be quite as sweet as a plum. Still, it’s all about the flavour it brings when it’s cooked.
How do you remove the stones when you make damson jam?
The best way to remove the damson stones is to use a cherry pitter. Make sure you choose damsons that are ripe and each stone should come away easily.
Another way to remove the stones is to put them in a pan of water and simmer until they soften. This will make removing the stones a lot easier.
You could also freeze the damsons. When thawed, the stone will come away a lot easier – just use a knife to cut down the length of the damson and then give it a twist. Then lever the stone out.
Are damsons good for you?
These little purple fruits are very good for you and have many great health benefits. These health benefits range from protecting against heart disease, boosting your immune system, improving digestive health, increasing energy, lowering cholesterol, strengthening bones, and decreasing the risk of certain types of cancer.
What else can you make with damsons?
Aside from making a delicious spiced chutney, you can also use them to make an amazing jam. Check out my delicious damson jam recipe!
More delicious chutney recipes
If this fantastic spiced recipe whet your appetite, why not give some of these recipes a go?
- Plum chutney – if you enjoyed the damson recipe, you’ve got to try plum!
- Green chutney – this spicy green chutney is one of the easiest Indian side dishes. It tastes amazing when paired with Indian snacks such as pakoras and bhajis
- Bombay chutney – full of flavour and very fiery, this classic Indian chutney goes well with just about any Indian snack. Once you’ve made your own, you’ll be hooked
- Persimmon chutney – a beautiful, bright, vibrant chutney with a unique taste, persimmon chutney is a great recipe if you want to impress your friends and family
- Carrot chutney – a very healthy, fresh chutney that’s spicy and tangy, carrot chutney also has a nice kick thanks to the cayenne pepper and ginger
- Runner bean chutney – green, healthy and full of flavour, this recipe is comprised of simple ingredients and makes the perfect accompaniment to big hearty roast dinners
Make the most of your glut of damsons by making this damson chutney recipe. Cooked with apple and gently spiced, it’s fab served as part of a cheeseboard. It makes a great homemade foodie gift as well!
- 900g (2lbs) damsons, pitted
- 2 large Bramley apples, peeled, cored, and cut into small cubes
- 450g (1lb) onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 450g (1lb) raisins
- 1 green chilli, washed and finely chopped
- 450g (1lb) brown sugar
- 1g (½ tsp) cayenne pepper
- 11g (2 tsp) salt
- 2g (1 tsp) ground allspice
- 3g (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
- 3g (1 tsp) ground ginger
- 2g (2 tsp) freshly ground pepper
- 6 juniper berries
- 750ml (1½pt) white wine vinegar
- 10ml (2 tsp) balsamic vinegar
- Place all the ingredients in a large heavy bottomed saucepan.
- Heat the contents slowly until boiling point is reached.
- Turn the heat down until a consistent slow simmering point is reached.
- Cook for at least 2 hours but no more than 5. Check on it every 30 minutes and stir occasionally.
- Towards the end of cooking time stir the chutney more to ensure that nothing sticks and burns at the bottom. It will thicken when it cools.
- Pour into sterilised containers and seal with airtight lids. Enjoy as part of a cheeseboard!
- Category: Chutney
- Method: Boil
- Cuisine: British
Keywords: damson chutney, damson recipe, vegan damson recipe, damson and apple chutney