The plum season is almost over and I didn’t dare to hope finding damson plums on the farmers market this year. But voilà they had been sitting in a wicker basket, just a few of them. I assumed they had been waiting for me.
I grew up climbing massive plum trees in my backyard. Autumn was all about picking them directly from the tree, rubbing them one by one vigorously on my sleeve until the dusky skin showed it’s polished face. I could say by touch if they are ripe and ready to pick or should be left alone for a few more sunny days. I knew exactly where to pinch them and pull in half to remove the pits and check for hidden worms. And I knew every branch of those trees, the ones that would hold my weight so I can carefully hunt for those plums in the bright sun, riper and sweeter than the others. Some say they have kind of preference or connection to a thing, sometimes even unexplainable. Mine are pretty obvious: I am prone to boxy cars since my parents used to drive Volvo while I grew up, and I can never say no to: plum cake, plum jam, plum schnapps…
Damsons are egg-shaped plums and of smaller size. They can be found in many shades of blue and purple and they are rather popular in Europe for jams and baking than eating due to their tart skin, but underneath lies sweet flesh.
I had cake on my mind, when I came home the other day with my damson plums. But karma had a better plan. My neighbor came over before I even unpacked my farmer’s market bounty and shared her German plum cake with me. Can you believe that? What a coincidence! I still have a few pieces stashed away in my freezer for desperate times. That’s why I made another batch of booze with plums and because it’s damn good. Last years plum and cinnamon flavored bourbon is long gone and I promise to share with my neighbor.
- 600g / 21 oz. (about 20) damson plums
- 300g / 10.5 oz. light brown sugar
- 950ml / 4 cups vodka
- Wash the plums, cut in half and remove the pits. Quarter the plums and add with the pits into a large and clean jar.
- Add sugar and fill up with vodka. Seal tightly and wait patiently for at least 3-4 months. For what it’s worth it won’t hurt to wait six months. Store at a dark and cooler place and give it a shake every time you pass by.
- Strain the damson vodka and transfer into clean bottles. It will last for a long time and improve with age.