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Gooseberry Jam Recipe

Updated on September 1, 2017
Gooseberry jam over crumpets and ice cream
Gooseberry jam over crumpets and ice cream | Source

Rating

4.7 stars from 3 ratings of Gooseberry Jam

Gooseberries, those adorable hairy green fruits that look like grape-sized, opaque watermelons and taste like a sour cross between kiwi and strawberries, are related to currants and have a very short season, so take advantage of them when you have the chance.

But what does one do with these fruits? Why, make jam, of course!

Cook them in a style similar to cooking cranberries, and you can enjoy the jam or sauce with sweet or savory dishes. I'll show you how to pair this lovely jam with crumpets and ice cream for a British twist on American strawberry shortcake.

Unripe gooseberries
Unripe gooseberries | Source
Cross-section of a gooseberry
Cross-section of a gooseberry | Source

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 40 min
Yields: About 12 ounces of jam
Few ingredients are in this jam -- just gooseberries, sugar, juice, and water.
Few ingredients are in this jam -- just gooseberries, sugar, juice, and water. | Source

Ingredients

  • One cup gooseberries, topped and tailed (top and bottom removed)
  • One cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons acidic juice (lemon or orange)
  • 1/4 cup water (or a small amount of apple juice)

How to Make Gooseberry Jam

  1. Add the berries, sugar, and acidic juice to a medium saucepan. If you prefer a looser jam, add a small amount of water or apple juice. The jam will be extremely thick and sticky if you do not add the extra liquid.
  2. Bring the mixture to a hard boil over high heat. This will take about six to seven minutes.
  3. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the skins of the berries break and the fruit becomes soft, stirring occasionally.
  4. While cooking, gently press the berries against the side of the pot with a large spoon if you prefer a less lumpy jam.
  5. Once finished cooking, remove from the heat and allow to cool. The high level of pectin will jell the mixture within about 30 minutes, especially if you decide to cool it off in the refrigerator.
  6. Serve, and enjoy! I prefer to serve this dish cool with sweets (in the title picture, I toasted a crumpet, added a scoop of vanilla ice cream and spooned the gooseberry jam/sauce over), but you can also serve this jam warm as an accompaniment to duck, pork, or turkey.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Add the berries......the sugar...... the juice, and the water.Bring the mixture to a boil.Their skin of the berries will pop...... and slide off, freeing the fruit within.The fruit will soften...... and the pectin in the fruit will turn the cooled mixture into jam!
Add the berries...
Add the berries... | Source
...the sugar...
...the sugar... | Source
... the juice, and the water.
... the juice, and the water. | Source
Bring the mixture to a boil.
Bring the mixture to a boil. | Source
Their skin of the berries will pop...
Their skin of the berries will pop... | Source
... and slide off, freeing the fruit within.
... and slide off, freeing the fruit within. | Source
The fruit will soften...
The fruit will soften... | Source
... and the pectin in the fruit will turn the cooled mixture into jam!
... and the pectin in the fruit will turn the cooled mixture into jam! | Source

Colors of Gooseberries

  • The raw green berries are extremely crunchy, almost like a Granny Smith apple, with a bright sour-tart, addictive taste. But don't eat too many of these as they are unripe and may affect your stomach in a bad way.
  • As gooseberries ripen on the bush, they become darker and redder in color. They will taste less tart as they become more red.
  • Although bright and attractive when raw, the cooked berries lose their vibrant color and take on more of a "salsa verde" look.

Tips About Gooseberries

  • The flavor of the finished jam is very sweet, so cut the sugar (and the calories) if you prefer.. or substitute with Splenda or another no-calorie sweetener.
  • Gooseberries are related to currants, although they are significantly larger.
  • When picking gooseberries, be careful! They grow on a spiny bush on which you can easily scrape your hands and arms. Wear gardening gloves and protect yourself!
  • Inside the berries are tiny edible seeds, the same color as the berry itself. So it appears there are gooseberries inside gooseberries!

Other Gooseberry Dishes

Treat gooseberries the same as you would other berries. Here are some ideas:

  • In pies, crumbles, and fools. A gooseberry strawberry pie would be terrific -- similar to strawberry rhubarb!
  • Freeze and scrape the jam for a yummy granita.
  • In drinks. Try throwing in several gooseberries in your next green smoothie, or juicing a few with apples, cucumber, and mint for a powerful boost!

Have you ever tried gooseberries?

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Tiptree's Gooseberry preserve packed in 12oz jar
Tiptree's Gooseberry preserve packed in 12oz jar

If you can't be bothered to cook these berries or are hard-pressed to find them out of season, simply buy pre-made preserves to sample their distinctive flavor.

 

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    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks, livelonger! I really enjoyed crunching down on these tangy berries, and I bet you'd like them raw too. If you ever get the chance, do try them. :^)

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, gorgeous. I can only imagine the taste! I love sour jams, and the greenish-yellow color of your jam suggests some tartness. Great photos!

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, teaches! I'm on vacation in UK and that's how I got the idea! Farms abound with gooseberries since the season is passing even as I type this response to your comment. Thanks and great to see you.

    • theclevercat profile image
      Author

      Rachel Vega 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Claire, I agree! Such a funny name for a berry that has nothing to do with geese. ;^) Thanks for commenting.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      It's been some time since I have seen gooseberries. They do have a nice mellow taste. Our neighbor used to make a great jam, such as yours, and she would give me mom a jar on occasion.

    • clairewait profile image

      clairewait 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I've never even heard of gooseberries (I always thought the jam used a silly name for some sort of popular mixture). Interesting hub.