Have you noticed how the damsons are huge this year? I managed to pick kilos of the fruit just before they ripened, preferring their tart taste and high pectin for my jam but now, when the fruit is so sweet you can't help but chuck one in your mouth every time you pass the bowed tree, now is the time to make Mixy-'Round.
Before I learned to make jam I either made thick fruit condiments (accidentally) which I used for meats or cheeses, purely because I'd let the jam go too far, or I made a sort of luscious fruit coulis, (again accidentally) on account of not letting the jam cook for long enough. In fact, for several years when my children were young and I was constantly distracted, jam eluded me completely.
The benefit to this period of culinary hit-and-missness was finding out that we Archers liked Mixy-Round almost as much as we liked jam. We particularly like it over ice-cream, in strawberry milkshakes mid-winter (!) or poured into fresh plain yoghurt. The yoghurt recipe gave us the inspiration for its name: You mix it 'round in the yoghurt to get a delightful pink concoction that children love. It's a great back up desert.
Ingredients (Makes approximately 3 jam jars)
1kg of washed Damsons (or any fruit you prefer)
.5kg of washed Cooking Apples (chopped, unpeeled, uncored, as they come... easy eh?)
500ml of water
1kg - 1.5k Granulated Sugar depending on how sweet you like it.
- - -- - - - - - -- -Method
- Ensure you have the correct number of jam jars washed and sterilized. While I make my jam I usually keep my clean jars, but not the lids, in the oven at a warm, not hot, temperature.
- In a jam pot or stockpot heat the first three ingredients, stirring occasionally.
- Add the sugar, again stirring occasionally. Cook till all the fruit breaks down and the stones of the damsons begin to appear on the surface of the mixture. Take care to monitor the heat so it doesn't boil over.
- To release as many stones as possible, mash the mixture with a hand potato masher.
- Turn off the heat.
- Skimming off the damson stones can be a fiddly operation so instead of individually removing them as they rise to the surface, just use a large soup ladle and a colander and sieve the entire contents. Take care not to splash - it's hot! This will leave you with a runny fruit sauce.
- Fill your jars as full as possible with this mixture, pop on a waxed disk, seal and allow to cool before slapping on a label. Store in a cool, dark place.
- Once opened use and refrigerate. Yummy.