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Sep 25

How To Remove Stones From Plums And Damsons

Tagged in: tips , plum , damson

Plums and damsons are in abundance at this time of year and are great made into chutney or jam. One big problem is how to remove the stones, in the past I've always waited until they float to the top of the preserving pan and then scooped them out with a slotted spoon. This is frustrating as it's difficult to separate out the stones, and quite risky as the jam or chutney is often hot and sticky.
This tip is a simple way to remove the stones before starting the preserving, and although still messy is a lot safer.

Pick over and wash the fruit, then spread them out on a baking tray.

Then put them in the oven at 150 degrees C for about 10 minutes, this will split and soften the fruit. I did 3 trays full to get through my large bowl of fruit.

Take them out and set aside until they are cool enough to handle, you will then find the stone squeeze out easily.

I removed the last of the juice from the tray using a silicone spatula.

It took about half an hour to squeeze the stone out of 2.5kg of damsons, I was left with just under 2kg of prepared fruit which I shall freeze and make into chutney later.

Comments (7)

I found a quick way to remove the stones from damsons is to boil them until mushy then push the contents of the pan through the pasta interior of a cooking pot. The holes are a good size to retain all the stones.
mary , August 07, 2011
Stone Removal Necessary?
Do I need to remove the stones? Is it dangerous (other than for my teeth) to leave them in? Thanks!
Joan Lambert Bailey , November 20, 2011 | url
Hi Joan

No need to remove the stones if you don't mind picking them out the jam or chutney. It does save a lot of time!

Ben , November 20, 2011 | url
GREAT tip!
I have a damson tree in my yard and have in the past 5 years, tried many varied methods for removing the stones. Boiling, straining and using a cherry stoner.

This is by by far the best method I've found for removing stones. Still takes time, but it's far faster and less messy (believe it or not!) than any other method.

Thanks for the tip!
Andrea , September 16, 2012 | url
plum stones
smilies/grin.gif I hope I am not feeling cockahoop too soon - but this method of getting out plum stones seems to me to also be likely to get a richer plum taste from roasting the fruit! I had been battling for hours to dislodge the stones from some possibly slightly underripe plums - but when roasted they slipped out beautifully - and the small amount of concentrated syrup that came out into the pan was glorious! I did slit the skins feeling this would make taking stones out easier - it may have made more juice come into the pan. Thanks for a great tip.
waveneyj , August 07, 2014
This is brilliant! It worked great for me and saved so much time and effort. I'm going to try it with apricots next year. Thank you.
Leah , August 28, 2014
damson stone removal - handy tip
After trying the squishing sieving and skimming methods to remove stones from my damson jam in frustration I tried using my trusty (cheap hand held) cherry stoner and it worked like a dream. Roll on next damson season cos this time I'm armed lol
Cathy , May 02, 2015

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