Damson Pannacotta

This Shropshire Prune damson panna cotta was dreamt up and cooked by David Jarram, Head Chef at Fishmore Hall in Ludlow, Shropshire, with his Sous Chef, Nathan Eades.

The chefs presented the dessert as one of the  damson dishes at the Slow Food Ludlow Marches Taste Workshops at the Ludlow Food and Drink Festival, 2013.

The damson panna cotta, mingled with fromage blanc,  was astonishingly good. A dark chocolate ice cream truffle and caramelised granola sealed the deliciousness deal.

Damson Pannacotta: By Chef David Jaram and chef Nathan Eades
Damson Pannacotta: By Chef David Jaram and Chef Nathan Eades

Damson Chat: Grower Stanley Yapp and Wholesaler Stuart Ward

This short video features the inimitable Stanley Yapp, grower of damsons for many decades, and damson wholesaler,  Stuart Ward.

It is a feast for the eyes and the ears.

And it features the Shropshire Prune variety of damson.

The video was shot in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, a renowned damson growing area.

Video: Picking Damsons, October 2013

Although it’s nearly the end of the first week of October, there are still plenty of damsons on the trees.

In this short video I pick a few damsons from one of the internal hedges on my patch of garden on the Herefordshire-Shropshire border.

There’s a myth that damsons are nothing but bitter/sharp/sour. Which feeds into another myth that you can’t eat damsons straight off the tree. It’s not true! I wonder if people who think this are confusing damsons with their relatives, the bullaces.

While damsons do add a dimension of tartness, which is an essential counterpoint to dishes based on rich ingredients like game birds, lamb and cheeses, damsons also have a very pleasing sweetness.

Trust me (and watch the video).


Damson-Related Sites

1. The most comprehemsive, and up-to-date compendium on damsons — Guide to Damsons — is available to download, free, from Daiv’s site:

2. The Friends of the Coalbrookdale Arboretum are volunteers who are renovating an arboretum in which the National Damson Collection is planted:

3. The digital home of the Lake District damson is The Westmorland Damson Association:

4. England in Particular site; includes damson information as well as where to buy  apples and orchard produce:

5. Jenny Dean experiments with damsons for dyeing, and provides photos of the results:

6. A Ludlow-based plant expert who specialises in difficult-to-find plant, trees and shrubs, and who has given talks on the damson tree at the Marches Damson Days is PlantFinder Jenny. Jenny worked for the nursery that developed the Merryweather variety of damson. This is her website:

7. Slow Food Ludlow Marches has organised two Marches Damson Days:

Damson Ice Cream Recipes

From Skye Gyngell, an excellent recipe because it isn’t heavy-handed with the damson puree.  It produces a lighter colour than you might expect but it’s no less fruity.

Here are some photos of my attempt at Skye Gyngell’s damson ice cream. It had an incredible depth of flavour.

Stevie Parle’s recipe, which does not include eggs (which means that it does not use the custard/creme anglaise method):


Saffronbunny’s take on Stevie Parle’s recipe:


Wannabe TV Chef’s Vanilla Pecan and Damson Ice Cream recipe. Damons have an affinity with nuts, and you’ll find the photo of the finished dish in a tall and roomy wine glass alluring:




shropshireprunedamson.com has moved

Hello damson lover, and welcome to all things damson.

For a little time I hosted the Shropshire Prune Damson website  on a lovely blogging platform called Posterous. Long story short, Posterous was snaffled by Twitter who eventually shut the platform down. This means I’ve had to find a new digital home for the Shropshire Prune.

So I’ve switched to arguably the best blogging platform in the world — WordPress, which is where you are now.

Picking Shropshire Prunes in September: Big Vessel for a Big Crop
Picking Shropshire Prunes in September: Big Vessel for a Big Crop

I’m  in the process of transferring the content from the old site to this new site. So please be patient as it will take some time.

This new home for the Shropshire Prune will contain loads of excellent damson stuff including:

  • links to damson recipes
  • links to damson food and drink producers
  • where to buy damson products
  • where to buy damsons
  • help with identifying  the variety of damson tree you’ve got
  • where to buy a damson tree
  • how to care for a damson tree
  • information about the Slow Food Ludlow Marches Shropshire Prune Damson project
Shropshire Prunes Ripening, 13th September 2013
Shropshire Prunes Ripening, 13th September 2013

Subscribe now to this site and I’ll keep you updated with the latest damson news.  I’ll also post about both traditional and avant garde ideas for cooking with damsons.

Yours fruitfully,

Catherine Moran