|Natalie picking gooseberries|
We used the dark, ripe wine colored fruits that have a distinct taste somewhat like a cross between a grape and a raspberry. The jam cries out for wild game and pairs well with meat. Try it with pork, marinated and baked chicken thighs, goose, turkey, lamb or buffalo. And beyond that it is simply a delicious preserve to have on your shelf this winter. No pectin is needed as these berries are high in natural pectin.
|abandoned nest in gooseberry bush|
4 cups gooseberries (2 pounds) - Wash, tail and stem, discarding any that are soft or damaged.
4 cups raw organic sugar (2 pounds)
1 1/4 cups water
Place gooseberries and water in a large pan, bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat until the gooseberries are tender, approximately ten minutes. Stir in sugar and simmer until dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook rapidly until setting point is reached, about 15 minutes. Mash with a masher during cooking. Ladle into sterilized jars and seal.
To test whether the jam has set: take the saucer from the freezer and drop a small spoonful of jam on to it. Allow it to cool for a minute then push your finger through the jam – if it wrinkles it’s ready; if not, boil for a few more minutes. Continue testing until the jam is ready. (Always remove the jam from the heat while you’re testing so that if it’s ready you won’t overcook it.)
Thea facilitates healing herbal retreats at ClearfieldCottage perched above Rachel’s garden. Meals are prepared from the garden and are local, seasonal and organic.
|photos by Thea|