Eat the Season- Damsons

The Master Chefs of Great Britain was formed in 1980 to provide a forum for the exchange of culinary ideas and to further the profession through training and the guidance of young chefs. In addition, the association seeks to promote all that is best about British cuisine and produce. We are delighted to be working with Country Range and providing information and recipes for their Eat the Season feature. We now have the winners of Zest Quest Asia, Young Pastry Chef of the Year, A Passion to Inspire and Young Master Chef of the Year and by the time this goes to press, we will know who are the winners of Young Restaurant Team and had a great time at Skills for Chefs and be looking forward to our annual lunch at Trump Turnberry on 11th November. For more information on the association and the competitions and training opportunities we provide contact masterchefs@msn.com

Official Tasting Notes-

By New Covent Garden Market, the UK’s leading wholesale fruit and vegetable market www.newcoventgardenmarket.com

Properties: Damsons are a plum-like fruit with a dark blue skin and a sour flavour. Due to their tart taste, damsons are more commonly used for cooking rather than eating raw.

Usage: Classically, damsons are used to make jams or jelly, but they can also be enjoyed in a variety of other desserts such as tarts, frangipane or crumble. Damsons are best enjoyed in savoury cooking when the sugars break down to add a delicious flavour to casseroles and pies. Serve preserved damson with duck or other game birds such as pheasant or partridge and follow with damson cheese – similar to quince cheese – with a fruity cheddar. And don’t forget to keep a few damsons for flavouring gin or vodka for a winter tipple.

Notes: If damsons are being added to savoury stews, cooking the fruit whole can remove the need to individually de-stone each fruit. They quickly reduce to a purée and the stone will rise to the top and can be easily spooned off.

  1. Fool around – If you like gooseberry fool, then why not try it with damsons served with shortbread biscuits?
  2. Damson in distress – So many of us make sloe gin but damsons can be used just as easily. Wash 550g of damsons, prick the skins and put in a sterilized glass container with 500g sugar. Once the sugar turns pink, add a bottle of gin and store in a dark place for three months.
  3. Duck down – Damson sauce is the perfect accompaniment for roast duck breast – and a welcome alternative to plum sauce
  4. Colourful crumble – Fruit crumbles always go down a treat – and this damson version is perfect served with custard, ice cream or cream.
  5. N-ice idea – Create an autumn version of the ice cream classic by substituting raspberries for damsons to create a delicious damson ripple ice cream.