Monday, July 29, 2013

From Across the Pond

My mom had a friend who had an abundance of gooseberries, so she shared them with my mom...who then shared some with us! I used my gooseberries to make jam. I ate some of them fresh as well. Fresh, they are sweet and a little tart, but without a really distinct flavor. When I made it into jam, I wasn't exactly sure what I thought of it...but then the flavor grew on me...I was eating this stuff plain with a spoon! It prompted my husband to ask me if I was pregnant (I'm not). So, if you would like some pregnancy cravings without the pregnancy, let me suggest this jam!

If you ever do get a hold of gooseberries, you will discover that there aren't many recipes to be found for them. I found the bulk of the recipes on the UK Allrecipes website.

Above: The berries are edible when they are green, but let them ripen a little longer if you want a lovely red jam instead.

Easy Gooseberry Jam

Gooseberries are naturally high in pectin, so you don't need pectin for this easy jam recipe! Simply use an equal quantity of gooseberries and granulated sugar. Green gooseberries work just as well as ripe ones, though you may want to add a little more sugar and water if they are very under-ripe.


5 cups gooseberries
5 cups sugar
2 cups water


Place a plate or saucer in the freezer.

Wash and trim the gooseberries (see notes below). Place in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly for 1 minute. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, til gooseberries are soft. Add the sugar, then bring back to a rolling boil for another 10 minutes (watch carefully so that it doesn't boil over).

Remove pan from heat, and test to see if jam has set. Take the plate from the freezer and drop a bit of jam onto the cold plate. After a few seconds, push the jam with your finger. If the surface of the jam wrinkles and somewhat holds its shape, it has reached setting point and is ready. If the jam slides across the plate and seems very liquid, then it needs to be boiled for another few minutes, at which point, you need to test the jam again.

Skim off any scum from the top of the jam. Place the hot jam in hot, sterilized jars.

To sterilize jars:

Wash and rinse your jars and lids well with warm, soapy water. Line a roasting tin with a clean cloth, and place your clean jam jars upside down on the cloth. About half an hour before potting your jam, place your jam jars in a preheated oven (250 degrees F).

Meanwhile, place clean lids in a large pan and cover with water. Boil for 10 minutes to sterilize the lids. Also boil any other utensils, such as a funnel or spoon, at this point.

When ready to pot your jam, remove the jars from the oven. Using an oven mitt, turn your jars right side up, keeping them in the roasting tin. Pour your hot jam into the warm jars. Make sure to leave 1 cm headspace in each jar.

Immediately place the lids on the jars. Allow to cool thoroughly at room temperature, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year. If you can press down on the center of the lid and make it move, the jar is not properly sealed: refrigerate and consume within two weeks.

Source: I found this on the UK Allrecipes site, submitted by yummers. You can find it here.

Notes: I wasn't planning on storing this for a year, so I didn't sterilize my jars--and oh yes, it was consumed within two weeks! This stuff was addicting for me!

Oh, and by the way, it takes a really, really, really long time to trim the tops and bottoms off of those gooseberries! I ended up trimming 2 cups worth...and then I pushed the rest through a strainer. I liked the mix of having whole berries and mashed berries. The whole berries have a great texture and they kind of pop when you eat them. I love that. However, it seriously would have taken me 2 or 3 hours to trim 5 cups worth of gooseberries. So, I did it this way instead. It worked great. Delicious!

You will be surprised at how well this sets up. No pectin needed!

Update 8/2/2014:

I made Gooseberry Jam again this year, and due to my procrastinating, most of the berries ripened further in the refrigerator (so more of them were reddish purple as opposed to green) and it completely changed the color of the jam to a deep red. Still just as tasty (and I felt it tasted pretty much the same, but maybe a little less tart). Good stuff, and I can still eat this stuff by the spoonful!

Above: This is how much jam I got from this recipe.

Above: Beautiful AND tasty!

Above: I really love this stuff. I hope my mom keeps in touch with this lady who has gooseberries! :) Otherwise I might have to grow them myself someday.

1 comment:

  1. They truly were a pain to clean. I can't imagine how long it took Renee to pick them!!!!

    I can't believe a jam without pectin. Pretty cheap. :)