Old-Fashioned Gooseberry Jam

From www.foodfanatic.com, by Tracy R.
Old-Fashioned Gooseberry Jam

Old-Fashioned Gooseberry Jam Photo

The summer preserving season is in full swing here in Upstate NY, and a lot has been going on in my kitchen. Strawberries and cherries have come and gone, and on deck now are blueberries, apricots, raspberries, and currants, as well as a "new to me" fruit – gooseberries.

While picking red raspberries at one of my favorite fruit farms a couple weeks ago, I noticed that they also had rows of green and pink gooseberries nearby that were ready for picking as well.

I’ve never eaten or made anything with gooseberries before, so out of curiosity, I picked a little over a pound of pink gooseberries just to see what I could do with them.

It was fortuitous timing that I had recently received a couple of new canning books, so I decided to peruse them to see what I could find. There wasn’t much for gooseberries, but what I did find was simple and straightforward: gooseberry jam can be made with fruit, sugar, and nothing else.

Since gooseberries are high in natural pectin, there is no need to add any additional pectin to get the jam to set. I was excited about this fact both because I was out of commercial pectin, but also because from a flavor perspective, I’ve been wanting to get away from using commercial pectin in my preserves. I added a splash of lemon juice to brighten up the flavor of this jam, but you can leave it out, or add a different flavor you enjoy such as fresh ginger or elderflower liquor.

However you make it, I hope you'll enjoy this simple, small-batch jam as much as I did. I’m looking forward to serving it at brunch with my favorite vanilla bean scones. I hope you are having a wonderful summer and a bountiful preserving season!

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/8 pounds gooseberries
  • 4 ounces water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 3/8 pounds granulated sugar

Directions

  1. Remove the tops and tails of the gooseberries and add them to a large sauce pan with the water and lemon juice. Bring to a gentle boil and continue boiling until the gooseberries break down.
  2. Prepare your canning supplies. Bring the temperature of the glass jars up by processing them in hot water for several minutes, and heat a few cups of water in a small saucepan for the lids.
  3. Add the sugar to the gooseberries and stir until dissolved. Bring the jam to a rapid boil and boil hard until the gel stage is reached.
  4. Skim off any foam and ladle the hot jam into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.
  5. Place the lids and bands on top, screwing on the bands just until fingertip-tight. Place the full jars back into the boiling water and process 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the water and place the jars on a towel. Let the jars cool. The seals should suck down (you should hear a popping noise as they do). Makes 3-4 eight-ounce jars.

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