Gooseberry Jam Recipe
Jams are a brilliant way to preserve fruit that are only in season for a few months of the year. There are always really good quality jams that you can buy, but making your own from a fruit picking expedition or a too good not to buy offer in the supermarket is worth the time it will take to label up your own homemade jam.
I tried a tart with gooseberries as the star ingredient and it was lovely and refreshing, just what you need in the summer. It was surprisingly difficult to find a jar of gooseberry jam on the shelves. So when my local farm shop had fresh gooseberry on sale, I decided to bottle a batch.
I was fascinated by the fact that with the addition of sugar, these green, grape like fruits when cooked into a jam, turn into a beautiful light pink colour. According to scientists the reaction between the pectin and anthocyanin’s a natural pigment found in the fruit that when broken down with heat releases and turns the fruit a wonderful pink colour.
The Gooseberry Jam can be served with my buttermilk scones, mixed into cream or yoghurt as a quick fool or used as a filling for jam tarts. It would also be delicious served with a summer cheeseboard.
- 500g gooseberries, topped and tailed
- juice of ½ lemon
- 500g jam sugar or preserving sugar
- 200ml cold water
- Sterilise your jars for more information see Notes.
- Place the gooseberries, lemon juice, jam or preserving sugar and 200ml water in a medium pot, add a sugar thermometer to the pot.
- Place the pot onto the stove top and on a very low heat bring the mixture to a slow simmer.
- Allow the mixture to simmer gently and stirring often until the thermometer reaches the jam stage (100 degrees).
- From the slow simmer to reaching the jam stage will take about 45 minutes.
- The fruit should have almost dissolved with just a few larger pieces of gooseberries suspended in the jam syrup.
- If you don't have a sugar thermometer you can use a few small plates which you freeze and every 10 minutes add a teaspoon of the mixture to the cold plate, allow the syrup to cool and pull the back of the spoon through the mixture. If the jam stands proud on either side and crinkles up the centre it is ready.
- Sterilise a small ladle in boiling water and spoon the mixture into the size jars you want to use.
- I like to use a range of smaller 100ml and 250ml jars so I can serve scones for 2 or make a tart with the larger jars.
- Pop a wax seal over the top of the jam (or a circle of greaseproof paper works just as well).
- The jam will keep for up to 6 months, but once opened refrigerate and eat within a few weeks.
My preferred method of sterilising jars is by washing thoroughly in hot soapy water with a drop of optional Milton steriliser added to the jar.
I add a little water to the washing up liquid and the steriliser and close the lid. Shaking the jar and emptying the soapy suds and rising well.
If you have used Milton steriliser don't spray your clothes as it will bleach them.
Then place the jars onto a baking sheet and turn the oven onto120C degrees or gas mark for 5 minutes. I tend to leave them in oven until I am ready to bottle the jam.
Even though the fruit is weighed out the water content of the individual fruit may differ, which will yield a different amount of jam. I tend to wash and sterilise more jars than I need. That way if the mixture makes more jam you have the jars ready, if it makes less, you can cool and keep the jars for your next jamming session.