Gooseberries always remind me of summer, and not always in a good way – as a very young child I always associated them with prickled fingers and face-pukeringly sour berries, but once baked in an old-fashioned crumble, with lots of custard, they were, and still are, a joy. My father still grows tonnes of them in his garden in Lincolnshire and so I returned home from a lovely traditional Sunday Lunch at my parents’ house, last weekend with a huge bag of gooseberries and what seems like thousands of redcurrants (more of them later).So what else to do but make jam. This summer the weather has been so glorious, with sun and rain in equal amounts, the gooseberries are actually sweet. Yep, you can actually eat them raw without the inside of your mouth losing all sensation. So if yours are the same, I suggest you reduce the sugar quantity a little in this recipe. Well, I call it a recipe, more of a process really – fruit, sugar, lemon juice,water, heat. That pretty much covers it!
Simple, Gorgeous, Gooseberry Jam
1kg Gooseberries, 1kg Granulated Sugar, Juice of half a lemon (+sterilised preserve jars and a saucer in the freezer to test if the jam is ready – unless you have a jam thermometer, which I don’t)
Top and Tail the gooseberries and them put them in large wide pan, squeeze over half a lemon’s worth of juice and then add around 400ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer for approx 15 -20 minutes until the fruit it soft and pulpy
Add the sugar and stir over a gentle heat until all the sugar has dissolved, then ratchet up the heat and bring to a hard, rolling boil for at least 10 minutes. (These gooseberries took me 20 minutes). The jam will take on a pinky/brown colour as it cooks.
Spoon some jam onto a cold saucer and let it cool a little, if you push it up with your finger it should wrinkle across the surface if it is ready. If not, boil for a further 5 minutes then try again. Once ready, pour into your sterilised jars and top with a small ring of waxed paper or baking paper, store in a cool place (for up to 6 months unopened).