You may not be familiar with gooseberry or gooseberry jam, even though the gooseberry has been around since the early settlers brought it to North America! It is still quite popular and familiar in Europe today!
Nonetheless, I want to introduce you to gooseberries and teach you how to make gooseberry jam!
A gooseberry is a fruit that resembles a small, round grape and is a lesser-known fruit to most people, although you can buy them at stores like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and sometimes even Walmart.
As a homesteader, I look for ways to grow my own fruits and vegetables. I have two gooseberry bushes that I planted a few years back and they are very productive!
Gooseberries are green, red, or yellow in color and have a sour taste. They are often used in pies, jams, and other desserts. Your jam color will vary depending on what color your gooseberries are!
You can use gooseberry jam in various ways:
-On toast with butter for a classic breakfast or snack
-As a filling for cakes or pastries
-Mixed into yogurt or oatmeal
-Swirled into ice cream or yogurt
-As a topping for pancakes or waffles
-As a glaze for meats such as pork or chicken
Benefits of Gooseberry Jam
There are several benefits of gooseberry jam, including being:
-A good source of antioxidants
-A good source of Vitamin C
-A good source of fiber
-Low in calories
How to Make Gooseberry Jam
Wash and remove stems from your gooseberries. Gather your ingredients together and put a small plate in the freezer.
3 cups crushed gooseberries (washed and stems removed)
1 1/2- 3/4 cups sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
(Pectin is not necessary due to a large amount of pectin naturally occurring in gooseberries)
1. Combine the gooseberries and lemon juice in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook for 5-10 minutes, allowing the gooseberries to begin to soften and break down.
2. Now add the sugar and begin to mash the berries on the side of the pot with your spoon. Continue to cook the mixture at a slow boil for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Perform the “gel test” now by taking your plate out of the freezer and depositing a spoonful of jam on it. Return the plate to the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove the plate and the jam should not run, but rather gel up on the plate if it’s ready. If this doesn’t happen, boil your jam mixture for another 1-2 minutes and try again. You can also determine the gel stage by using a cooking thermometer and see that your mixture has reached 220 degrees.
3. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
4. Ladle jam into clean jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace, wipe rims and add lids and rings.
5. Process jars in a water-bath canner with water completely covering jars (by 2″) for 10 minutes.
6. Remove from heat and remove the canner lid, let jars sit for 5 minutes in the canner and then remove and allow to cool.
Gooseberry jam is a rather unique product to most people here in the states, making it a great product to offer as part of your homestead business!
If you have egg customers, consider letting them know that you’ll be making Gooseberry Jam and take some orders! You might be surprised at the amount of interest you get in your homemade jams!
Let me know in the comments if you tried the jam and how you liked it!