Today I made twelve of damson jam and one jar of redcurrant jelly. It was surprisingly easy.
All I did was to weigh then wash the damsons and make a slit in each one then divide them up between my two biggest pans. Then I added some water, about a pint in each, and simmered until the fruit was soft. I then added the same weight of normal white sugar as of fruit and brought it to the boil, stirring all the time.
The damson stones just float up to the top so you can skim them off with a slotted spoon. After a short time the flat was filled with the most delicious smell and then came the fun part. To see if the jam is done, you have to drop a little onto a plate, leave it for a couple of minutes and then push it with your finger. If it wrinkles, the jam is done. If not, you get to lick it up and try again!
I'd always been put off jam making by all the stuff about sterilising jars but really all they need is a good hot wash and rinse. I put them in a low oven just to dry them off and warm them slightly before ladelling in the hot jam. When the jam was cool, I put little circles of greaseproof paper on top (the book says wax discs but I couldn't find any) and then put the lids on tight.