June 16, 2009
Now that the soft fruit season is underway here in the UK, I thought it was time for a spot of jam-making….
Gooseberries are great for jam as they’re naturally high in pectin. The colour of the jam will vary depending on the ripeness of the gooseberries – early small, hard fruits will give a green jam whilst plump ripe fruits give a pinkish colour. The batch of jam pictured below is quite a dark pink due to the fact that I used unrefined granulated sugar – not for any particular reason, just because that’s what I had in the cupboard. Anyhow, on to the recipe…
Basic Gooseberry Jam Recipe
A quantity of gooseberries
An equal amount of granulated sugar
Top and tail the gooseberries and place in a preserving pan or sturdy saucepan. Pour in enough water so that the gooseberries are not quite covered – if you prefer to measure, I usually use 500ml water for every kilo of gooseberries. Simmer the gooseberries for 10 – 15 minutes until they are soft and squidgy but still hold their shape. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. It helps if you gently warm the sugar in the oven prior to adding to the pan as it will dissolve quicker this way. Once the sugar has dissolved bring to a rolling boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Test for setting point then pour into sterilized jars and seal.
The recipe can be adapted in a number of ways:
You could make strawberry and gooseberry jam by substituting half the gooseberries with strawberries although only add the strawberries to the pan once the gooseberries are almost soft.
To make elderflower and gooseberry jam tie up a few elderflower heads in a muslin square and simmer with the gooseberries. Remove before adding the sugar.
Some people like to add a little butter when they add the sugar.