Damson cheese and caraway oatcakes

Damson cheese and caraway oatcakes
  • Serves icon Makes about 8 moulds of damson cheese
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, simmering time 2 hours, plus cooling

Debbie Major’s damson cheese recipe is a set, sweetened purée, best served with strong cheese and savoury biscuits.

Looking for more ways to use the seasonal fruit? Take a look at all of our damson recipes, here.


Per 40g damson cheese 77kcals, no fat, 0.1g protein, 19.4g carbs (19.4g sugars), trace salt, 0.6g fibre

Per oatcake 61kcals, 2.3g fat (0.7g saturated), 1.6g protein, 8.7g carbs (no sugars), 0.2g salt, 1.1g fibre


  • 1.5kg damsons
  • About 1.1kg granulated sugar
  • Strong blue cheese, such as barkham blue or stilton (allow about 75g per person), to serve

For the caraway oatcakes (makes 18)

  • 50g fine oatmeal, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 175g medium oatmeal
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 25g unsalted butter


  1. To make the damson cheese, put the damsons and 150ml cold water in a large, heavy-based pan. Put over a medium-high heat until the juices run, then cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until soft and pulpy.
  2. Push the pulp through a sieve into a bowl using the back of a wooden spoon to remove the skins and stones (discard). Measure the fruit pulp in a measuring jug, then return to the cleaned pan and add 350g sugar for every 400ml pulp. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 1½-1¾ hours until very thick, stirring frequently and skimming off any scum from the top. Make sure it doesn’t catch on the base of the pan. When you can scrape a wooden spoon along the bottom of the pan and a visible line shows briefly, it’s ready to set.
  3. Lightly oil 8 moulds (100-120ml each) – ramekins, plastic tubs, tea cups, jelly or friande moulds (see tip). Fill with the purée, cover loosely with baking paper and leave for 4 hours to set. Once cold, cover each mould with a dampened cellophane jam pot cover held on by an elastic band and store in a cool dry place.
  4. For the oatcakes, heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Put both oatmeals, the caraway seeds, salt and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Put the butter and 90ml water in a small pan, then slowly melt the butter and bring to the boil. Quickly pour it onto the oatmeal mixture and mix with a wooden spoon to form a fairly stiff mixture. If it looks too dry and crumbly, add up to 1-1½ tbsp water, a little at a time.
  5. Sprinkle some more fine oatmeal onto the work surface and gently roll out the mixture as thinly as possible without it cracking. Cut into 6cm discs using a biscuit/scone cutter and put onto 1-2 large baking sheets lined with baking paper. Re-roll the trimmings to make about 18 biscuits.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until just turning golden at the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then serve straightaway or store in an airtight tin until needed. Thinly slice the damson cheese, then serve with blue cheese and the oatcakes.

delicious. tips

  1. You can pour the purée (step 3) into a small tin lined with cling film and leave to set. Cut into cubes, toss in granulated sugar and serve with coffee.

Recipe By

Debbie Major


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