How To Make Damson Curd

Surprisingly I found recipes for every sort of fruit curd under the sun on the internet and in my cook books but not for this so I have winged it and thought I’d share what I did.

For this recipe I have given the weight of cooked puréed de-stoned damsons. I think you need about 600-650 g fresh fruit to get this quantity.

The damsons I used were (I was told by Neil whose field they were growing in)  a variety known as Zwetschgen in Germany. They are bigger than the bullet like damsons and much smaller than the ones I have seen in the green grocers sometimes called damson plums. I am no expert in the many varieties of damsons. But you can always research more and read all about them on various sites like Wikipedia.

These ones were about 2.5 cms in length, dark, fat and ripe with a bit of give to the flesh. And, though tart, sweet enough to eat raw without making your mouth pucker.

IMG_4185.jpgI picked these ones with a  volunteer friend from the Community Garden at Blaise who lives near the Old Severn Bridge at Aust and happens to have a field lined down one side with glorious damson laden trees and blackberries. Who could resist an invitation to pick damsons? Not me!

The only drawback with damsons is their little stones and there are various ways to deal with them, you need patience!


damson curd

Joanna’s Damson Curd

per batch

Makes 4  7oz jars

500g of cooked and puréed unsweetened damsons
125g unsalted good butter
300g caster sugar
3 eggs + 1 egg yolk

Wash and gently cook the fruit in as little water as you can get away with. A slow simmer rather than a full boil. I cooked down about 2 kgs of fruit in a couple of cms of water. Don’t add sugar at this point.


When the skins are soft remove the stones by hand and either put the fruit pulp in the fridge or freeze it for another day if you have as much as I did or carry on as follows:-

If you have a food mill (I have one made by Good Grips which gets a lot of use) then pass the fruit through that as it will also help find any sneaky stones as well as breaking the cooked fruit down into a purée. You can also use a traditional sieve and  back of a wooden spoon to press the fruit through and prepare the purée.

Wash the jars in hot soapy water, rinse, and put on a tray in a warm oven to sterilise. Put the lids in a small pan of boiling water till just before needed.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk lightly.

In a Bain Marie or a double saucepan put the butter, sugar and fruit purée and stir over a gentle heat till the butter is melted.  If using a bowl over a saucepan remember not to let the bowl touch the water. Keep the heat on low all the way through this process.

Whisk the eggs in and keep whisking and stirring the mixture until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, this can take about ten minutes. Take your time and keep the heat low or you get scrambled fruit egg! Fruit curds continue to thicken up as they cool.

Pot up, screw the lids on, leave to cool, label with a two week use by date and a note to keep in fridge as this has a relatively short fridge shelf life. A good one to share with friends!


Use the curd to fill cakes, tarts, slather on crumpets and toast, in desserts, eat out of jar very quickly so the photo blurs…


Lemon Curd by Zeb Bakes

PS I have totally forgotten I have blogged about making fruit curd before. So if you want a recipe for citrus curds read the old post. I. Have. Totally. Forgotten. So if I repeat myself that is because I am getting old and forgetful.

And I think it is that long  (three years) since I last made it too. And such a pity as I love it so much!


17 thoughts on “How To Make Damson Curd

  1. ardysez

    I’m never likely to have any damsons but I was interested to read how one might make curd from something other than lemons. Entertaining. Thank you!

    1. Joanna Post author

      It has a slightly different texture because of the fruit fibres to lemon, not quite so silky but it tastes amazing, you can make fruit curds with any fruit I think, but need to adjust sugar and eggs, so it is a bit hit and miss. I think I got lucky last night!

    1. Joanna Post author

      You could use another sort of plum, just reduce the sugar if they are very sweet to start with. But damsons have a powerful kick !

  2. Claire

    That curd looks divine! Curd absolutely trumps jam in my opinion -I do enjoy making it but only ever got round to making lemon and (a very boozy!) lime curds over the years. Have been hoping to do a few different ones in the near future if I get the ripe fruits (ha!) but this one looks luscious. Totally spoonable from the jar as is and perfect for toast. Much applause for so successfully winging it!

  3. Karin Anderson

    Interesting! Also your method of getting the pits out (I cut them in halves). Since a few years our local supermarket offers Zwetschgen (called Italian or prune plums in the US), and I use them for cake or freeze them to make a compote later). In Germany and Austria they are processed to a spiced jam (with cloves and cinnamon) by hours long slow cooking or baking until the mixture is very dark and concentrated. My favorite jam!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Do the stones release when you cut them in half? I find I lose a lot of flesh when I try and do that as they just cling on, so I fish them out with cooking tongs and a slotted spoon It takes forever! I also like to make jam with them, but just regular English style with sugar and quite fast so the taste of the fresh fruit is there.

  4. narf7

    3 years? Time to revisit that recipe methinks. Lovely recipe for the damson curd. I pass a damson tree and have saved seed from it. I was in two minds as to whether or not to bother planting the seeds and seeing if I could grow one myself as “damsons…eh?!” but now I see they DO have uses and will pot them up post haste. Excellent share Ms Joanna :)

  5. Elaine

    Lovely post – I have made damson jam, chutney and damson gin as we have our own damson tree. Never tried damson curd but will certainly try it using your recipe. I have found that freezing the damsons help with stone removal – once de-frosted they release the stones easily. Mind you our damson tree did not produce many damsons this year – not sure why.

    1. Joanna Post author

      The curd is delicious Elaine, do give it a try and you can make it relatively easily in small quantities so you don’t get swamped by it. Great tip on freezing the damsons! I will try that and pass it on as I think a lot more damsons are being picked this week! I think fruit production is related to blossom, so if the tree blossomed and then the blossom fell in a cold wind and it was a cold spring it might not be such a good year, the trees I picked from were very sheltered.

  6. heidiannie

    Lovely recipe- I have cooked up what we call the prune plum- I like Damson much better and made what we of Eastern European stock call lekvar to put in with poppyseed rolls. I would much rather make curd in the future. Thanks soo much for sharing!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Heidi I took a pot with me today to the garden and we put it on lemon drizzle cake – well why not? I am never quite sure how different the fruits are from one country to the next. My favourite prunes come from Agen – but I imagine the plums for those must be huge, not like these little guys. All gets a bit confusing. I have never had lekvar- but it sounds good xx

Comments are closed.