Damson Cheese

damsonsTaken from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's damson recipes


2kgs damsons
Around 750g granulated sugar


  • Put the damsons in a large preserving pan, add a couple of tablespoons of water and bring slowly to a simmer, stirring as the fruit begins to release its juices.
  • Leave to simmer until completely soft.
  • Tip the contents of the pan into a sieve and rub it through to remove the stones and skin, leaving you with a smooth damson purée.
  • Measure the purée by volume. For every 500ml, add 350g sugar, and combine in a large, heavy-based pan.
  • Bring to a simmer over a low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then cook gently, stirring regularly so it doesn't catch, until reduced to a thick purée. It's ready when you drag the spoon across the bottom of the pan and the base stays clearly visible for a second or two. This can take up to an hour of gentle, popping simmering and stirring.
  • Pour the "cheese" into very lightly oiled shallow plastic containers and leave to cool and set.
  • It will keep almost indefinitely in the fridge.
  • Serve in slices with bread and cheese, or, if you fancy, cut into cubes, dust lightly with granulated sugar and serve as a petit four.