This post is all about the smallest haul of gooseberries in all of gooseberry history (OK maybe a slight exaggeration for dramatic effect) and how this small haul became quite possibly the ugliest jar of jam…………ever.
If your looking for a post that will show you pictures that Mary Berry would be proud of you’ve come to the wrong place. This is for us normal people who burn our fingers, drop the spoon in the pan, use salt instead of sugar and just have general disasters whilst trying to be something from good house keeping.
I’ve always wanted to get into growing my own produce. For a long time it’s been a little dream of mine. In the dream I’d have chickens (for eggs) and a goat (to make cheese) and occasionally I’d run through the field singing “the hills are alive with the sound of music”, Julie Andrews style. Unfortunately this is not reality, I don’t even have blonde hair. But what I do have is a gooseberry bush. I bought it this year and it sits proudly at the bottom of my path all trimmed to tree perfection bearing ruby globes of tender fruit.
I wasn’t sure if I’d have enough for jam and true enough I didn’t, I used an empty, sterilised, baby food jar and there wasn’t enough to even fill that. In all fairness it’s not going to be sat around long enough for safe storage to be an issue so I’m not too concerned.
If you want to have a go at this yourself it’s super easy even though I did make a total mess!
I started out by picking the gooseberries or rather the kids did! Then, after taking off the top and tails, I weighed our haul (a whopping 200g!!).
Next I placed the gooseberries in a pan with a small covering of water.
|A Small Covering of Water|
The berries were simmered for approximately 10 minutes until they went all squishy and gross looking. At this point I added 150g of white granulated sugar. (if you have a larger haul weigh your berries. The sugar weight should be 3/4 of the berry weight).
|Squishy and Gross|
Add your sugar and stir until dissolved then turn up the heat and boil for at least 5 minutes. Prior to making you should pop a plate in the freezer.
When the jam has been boiling for 5 minutes and has thickened slightly plop a drop onto the plate, give it a few seconds then push with your finger, it should crinkle. Another way to check is to turn the plate upside down and see if it forms a gloopy drip.
You should also sterilise the jars you’re going to be using.
At the point of jarring up the jam I had a bit of disaster. I put the lid on and tipped it upside down, so the hot jam would hit the lid and the heat from the jam would sterilise the lid. Unfortunately the lid wasn’t on properly and so a jam volcano incident took place. I took this as a sign from a higher power that I needed to make coffee and have the spilled jam on some bread as clearly the jam was so desperate to be eaten that it leapt at me from the jar. At least that’s what I’m telling my dieting self!!
|The Volcanic Jam Incident|
So there you have it the yummiest, ugliest jar of homegrown, homemade gooseberry jam. May there be many more to come! For a more concise ingredient and methodology see below. Please feel free to share your own jam stories with me in the comments I’d love to hear them!
|Ugly Yummy Gooseberry Jam|
- White Granulated Sugar
- Place a plate in the freezer
- Sterilise jars
- Remove top and tail from gooseberries and wash.
- Weigh gooseberries
- Place berries in a pan and cover with water
- Bring pan to the boil then simmer until fruit is soft and mushy (technical term)
- Add sugar (the weight of the sugar is 3/4 of the weight of the berries)
- Stir until sugar is dissolved then turn up the heat to a boil
- Continue to boil for 5 minutes
- Plate test the jam to see if setting point has been reached
- Pot jam into sterilised jars ensure that lids are fitted whilst jam is still hot. Wait to cool before placing in fridge.
- Spread on bread or toast, make a coffee and enjoy it!!