I bought a small container of late season yellow plums at the market the other day. The vendor called them Yellow Damsons and warned me that their tartness is best tamed by cooking with sugar. Plum is one of the easiest fruit to deal with in jam making with its abundance of pectin. I bought a bunch without even a second thought.
My quest for the elusive damson plums has been handsomely rewarded this year. Both batches of jam have the deep flavour reminiscent of prune and wine. Of course the hassle of extracting the stones from my food mill was not exactly enjoyable but then the hard work is all behind me now. When I looked at my fresh basket of round little yellow plums, I was not looking forward to the work.
Before I rolled up my sleeves, I examined my bounty a little more closely. Each plum looked like an oversize cherry. The skin was smooth and taunt. I cut one in half and was surprised by the semi-clingstone. True damsons are clingstones. The plum was tart as expected but the flavour was vibrant. Since my container was rather small, I decided to stone the plums by hand.