Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gooseberry Jam

We have a few gooseberry bushes we planted on the property many years ago and generally neglected. Two years ago I decided to make jam from the berries of one bush near our house and liked the results so much I decided to do it again the following year. Of course, that year there was not a berry to be had! But this year we had plenty! The bush by the house produced and so did a few bushes lost in the weeds surrounding the outside of the garden, enough to make a batch and a half of jam.
Gooseberries are a bit like  rhubarb in that they are very sour and need lots of sugar to make them palatable. They do sweeten up as they ripen, but by the time they are sweet enough I find they are unpleasant to eat. But they make wonderful jam which you find easily in Europe but not so much here in the U.S. Of course, the real chore came after they were picked and I had to pinch off stems and blossoms. Took a few hours!
Here are the results of my labor. It will be so tasty on some warm  homemade bread on a cool autumn day! We are going to be near 100 degrees today, so that image of fall coolness is a nice one to keep in mind!
Notice how the jam is almost a rosy color even though the gooseberries were green. As they ripen, my gooseberries do turn pinkish and surprisingly when I make the jam they turn color too. I've seen green gooseberry jam in the store, but not mine.
No work in the garden today, other than water. It's too darn hot!


  1. Very nice post. Makes me want to plant another gooseberry bush (in a different place) and see if I can get it to produce anything this time.

    1. Thanks Becky! Ours didn't do much for years, but after my husband cleaned out the old growth we started getting some intermittant results.

  2. Hi nutmeg gardener,
    Your gooseberry jam looks delicious. I don't think I have ever even tasted a gooseberry! Nancy

  3. Well Nancy, if you taste a gooseberry you will likely pucker up! I like them in jam, but not everyone does.They have a distinct flavor. My mother, the German, makes a tart with gooseberries. She puts a layer of them on a shortbread base, covers the berries with lots of sugar and bakes. Then serves with whipped cream.

  4. I have never ever had a gooseberry! I like tart things so I think I would really like them.

    That's interesting how the jam turned color. Enjoy!