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.