Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Crafting with Fruit - Damson Liqueur

Over the weekend I went up North to the farm of a friend. It is right in the middle of nowhere, with soft Irish hills surrounding it. His farm has a large apple orchard, and autumn is the perfect time to go up there. For obvious reasons (says the thrifty Queen of Craft with a sly smile...) Not only are the apples ripe for harvesting, but the hedgerows are laden with blackberries, sloes, hips etc.

I spent a morning foraging for blackberries and damsons. It is sooo satisfying to pick fruit from a tree. You pick and pick and pick and you fill up your little basket. Or your large linen bag - I came away with about 5kg of damsons because I just couldn't stop. You see, damsons are quite hard to get here. And autumn just wouldn't be the same for me without the traditional German damson cake. I made one of those for my friend on the farm, but I was still left with loads of damsons which I took home. But what to do with them?

After my college class last night I spontaneously decided to make damson liqueur. It was more than easy and I had all ingredients to hand (thanks to some leftovers from a recent party).

I washed 500g damsons and took the stones out of the fruit. Then I put 150g sugar and 2 sachets of vanilla sugar into a large glas jar. I filled the jar with 500ml white rum and stirred the concoction. Lastly I added the damsons and stirred again. Done!

You need to leave the liqueur to sit for four to five weeks. Open the jar occasionally and give it a stir. I think it actually makes a lovely still life on my kitchen mantlepiece even before it is ready to sip:

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