My brother was found under a gooseberry bush. I was found in a tin of beans. That’s what my Mother tells us anyway. I have a feeling that she’s been telling us fibs.
I love gooseberries. Gooseberry crumble was one of the summer puddings of my childhood, picked fresh from the garden. Unfortunately, when my folks moved house, they didn’t take the gooseberry bush with them. Now, during the summer months, I always keep a close look out for gooseberries in local greengrocers, but I find that they are quite difficult to come by. When I do come by them, they’re only there for a limited time, usually at an inflated price. Three whole English Pounds is what it cost me for a punnet a few weeks ago. Extortion! The punnet was munched through in the form of a creamy gooseberry fool, a good old traditional crumble and some were eaten just plain raw. Yum!
I was delighted when I arrived at the Mother-in-law’s new digs, to discover the biggest gooseberry bush that my eyes ever did see. My boys were equally as delighted, and were gobbling them straight from the bush. We managed to get through a good few crumbles while we were there, and I cheekily made sure I picked a load to take home with me. I was all crumbled out by this point though, so decided to make them into jam.
I’ve made gooseberry jam before, and it’s turned out a lovely pink colour. This batch stayed green, perhaps because the fruit was freshly picked and not fully ripe like the shop bought ones.
Making the jam was really easy.
What you will need:
2kg gooseberries, topped and tailed
2kg caster sugar
Other recipes state to use water, though I find that the fruit holds enough water so do not add any.
Make sure you sterilise your jars and lids before you start!
Heavy based pan. Make sure it’s a big one if you have a lot of fruit!
Spoon for stirring.
Spoon for decanting.
1. Put a plate in the freezer. Thoroughly wash the gooseberries and put them in a very large, heavy based pan.
2. Cook over a low heat for about half an hour, making sure to bash the gooseberries.
3. Add the sugar, keeping it on a low heat and stirring until fully dissolved.
4. Bring to the boil for about ten minutes (don’t stop stirring), then take your plate from the freezer and put a blob of jam on it. If the jam wrinkles when you push it with your finger, it is ready. If not, then boil for a couple more minutes.
5. Take off the heat, and skim off any white scum from the top. Alternatively, add a knob of butter and stir in.
6. Decant into your sterilised jars, screw on your lids.
I prettied my jars up with some fabric and twine, and gave them out as thank you gifts for everyone who helped us out when Hubby had his accident.
How do you eat your gooseberries!?