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Damson Cheese

Fruit cheeses are traditional country preserves, with a very thick texture, and are usually served sliced, to accompany meat, poultry or game. They can be potted in small moulds and simply turned out whole when needed.

ingredients

makes 1.4 kg (3 lb)
1.4 kg (3 lb) damsons
sugar

method

1. Put the fruit and 150 - 300 ml (1/4 - 1/2 pint) water, to just cover, in a saucepan. Cover and simmer gently for 15 - 20 minutes, until the fruit is really soft. Scoop out the stones with a slotted spoon as they come to the surface.

2. Using a wooden spoon, press the fruit pulp through a nylon sieve and measure the puree.

3. Return the puree to the pan and add 350 g (12 oz) sugar for each 568 ml (1 pint) puree.

4. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and boil gently, stirring frequently, for 30-40 minutes, until so thick that the wooden spoon leaves a clean line through the mixture when drawn across the bottom of the pan.

5. Pot and cover the cheese or, if preferred, prepare and fill a bowl or several small moulds from which the cheese can be turned out and served whole. Leave to set and cover as for jam. Store in a cool, dry place for 2 months to mature.

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