Damson Plums

  • recipesrule 6 years ago
    Does anyone know of a suitable substitute for Damson Plums? Does anyone know what they are? My mom used to make the jam for a special cookie she makes at Christmas, and only uses this jam. the plums are not easy to come by, (I've never seen them in the store)so if she can't get them she doesn't bake them. It is a jam that is cooked til very stiff and therefore doesn't run out of the cookie while baking. I would love to surprise her and make some kind of suitable jam to put in these amazing cookies. They are a recipe from the old country and she won't be making them much longer as she is pushing 82 and is not in good health. It is definitely a recipe I want to keep alive and have made them with her so I could learn how to do it. Any thoughts?

    Betty
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  • pointsevenout 6 years ago said:
    Consider making a prune jam. Hehehehe, boy, that's almost an oxymoron.
    Is Damson the name of a company or the type of plum? The name reminds me of yogurt. That's all I got. I'll go looking for some info.
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  • pointsevenout 6 years ago said:
    Found a bunch of AKAs with a little bit of history.

    Damask Plum
    Because of this acidic, tart flavour, damsons are commercially grown for preparation in jellies and jams. A range of varieties of damson are available, with some such as 'Merryweather' being more appropriate for eating when ripe straight from the tree while varieties such as 'Farleigh' benefit from cooking.

    OK. The Damson plum is also called the Damask plum. The Merryweather plum is a Damask plum variety as well as the Farleigh. The Merryweather a little more sweet and the Farleigh a little more sour.
    Farleigh is an old (1820) English damson variety, of unknown origin.
    Damsons are very closely related to the common European plum, Prunus domestica, but are grouped together with bullaces, mirabelles and St. Juliens. There is a strong resemblance to the common sloe, Prunus spinosa which grows readily in English hedgerows. However the word 'damson' comes from 'Damascene plum', hinting that damsons came to England from Damascus and the near East. Damsons ripen later than plums, usually in September.
    Damsons can be eaten fresh when fully ripe but are more acidic than plums and most commonly used for cooking - the flavour may benefit from freezing the fruit before cooking. Damsons lend a rich spicy tart flavour to pies, jams and chutneys.
    P. insititia (damson)

    I couldn't find that range of varietys of damsons the antecedent spoke of.

    Found a recipe that calls for the Damson plum or prune plum. As a substitute if those plums are unavailable use the slightly sweeter red or black plum and use 2 tablespoons lemon juice for greater acidity.
    Here are a couple of sources for the Damson plums:
    http://www.theproducehunter.com/productdisplay.asp?ID=2069
    http://www.cheshiregarden.com/tweedledums-damson-plum-preserve-p-32.html
    http://grandpasorchard.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/trees.plantDetail/plant_id/16/index.htm

    Latin name Chrysophyllum oliviforme L.
    Family Sapotaceae
    Synonym Chrysophyllum olivaeforme Lam. Cynodendron oliviforme (L.) Baehni
    English name satinleaf starapple; damson-plum; saffon-tree, saffron (Bahamas); saffron-tree; satinleaf (Bahamas, USA); star plum, wild star apple
    French name caïmitier marron; caïmite marron (Haiti)
    Spanish name caimitillo (Cuba, Dominican Republic); caimitillo de perro; caimito, caimito cimarron, caimito cimarrón, (Cuba); caimito de perro (Dominican Republic); canela; macanabo (Cuba); palo de canela; xaimito (Cuba)
    Other name kaymit mawon (creole, Haiti)
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  • recipesrule 6 years ago said:
    Wow PSO, you went to a lot of effort to find and post that info for me. Thank you so much. I will try the red or black plums with the extra lemon juice and see if that works. I wonder if prune plums or President plums would also work? I"m going to look up those links you found. Thanks again, you've been such a help.
    Betty
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  • pointsevenout 6 years ago said:
    Not a problem. I enjoyed the research. Also found out why I can not find prunes in the store anymore. They are now promoted as dried plums because of the bad press prunes and old people and incontinence have. I know that didn't come out right (no pun intended) but I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.
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  • recipesrule 6 years ago said:
    Old or young, prunes make everything come out right!
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  • shine 6 years ago said:
    great job points!
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