Celeriac Gratin and Damson Jam

It’s a bumper week for recipes! We’ve got a rich celeriac side dish, and a versatile damson jam for you.

Celeriac Gratin

Celeriac may seem knobbly and strange, but they’re easy to cook up deliciously. Put them together with potatoes in this gratin, which will work brilliantly as a side dish for almost any meal. It’s just that little bit more interesting than one with only potatoes. This recipe is adapted from a BBC Good Food one, here.


420ml double cream
350ml milk
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
celeriac (about 500g) peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
500g potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas mark 4.

In a medium saucepan, combine cream, milk, garlic, rosemary and mustard, and bring to the boil.

Pour a little of the cream mixture onto the bottom of an ovenproof dish.

Arrange a layer of celeriac and season. Pour over some more of the cream mixture and repeat the same process, alternating potato and celeriac, finishing with a layer of potato.

Cover with the remainder of cream mixture, then bake for 1-1¼ hrs, until golden and vegetables are tender when a knife is stuck in.

Leave to sit for 5 mins, then serve.

Damson Jam

This damson jam is as good on toast as it is with a leg of duck. Some fruit needs a little more work to be lovable- but it always rewards your effort. And anyway, it’s pretty easy to make this jam. If you’d like to preserve it in jars, check out the original recipe on BBC good food, which has directions for doing so safely.

500g damsons
500g sugar
knob of butter

Put the fruit into a jam pan or a large, wide, heavy-based saucepan, leaving the stones in. Add 100ml water and bring to the boil.

Put a couple of saucers in the freezer. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 mins or until the fruit is soft.

Tip in the sugar and stir over a very low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, up to 10 mins. This step is vital – if you don’t dissolve the sugar, the bottom of the pan may catch and burn. Raise the heat, bring to a full rolling boil, then rapidly boil for 10 minutes. Don’t stir until the setting point of 105C is reached. If you don’t have a thermometer, test the jam by spooning a little onto a cold saucer. Wait a few seconds, then push the jam with your fingertip. If it wrinkles, the jam is ready. If not, cook for a few mins more and test again, with another cold saucer. Once you have reached 105C or setting point, stir the jam thoroughly.

Remove from the heat, skim off any excess scum, then stir a knob of butter into the surface (this helps to dissolve any remaining scum). Leave for about 15 mins so the fruit can settle – if you decant the jam too soon, all the fruit will sink to the bottom. Store in the fridge in a covered container for up to a week.