Gooseberries are in season! Having picked our own little crop of homegrown green gooseberries a week ago, we were eager to find a recipe from our library of cookbooks for them.
This 1936 recipe for gooseberry jam caught our eye. After all, you can’t go wrong with jam. You can use it for anything – on your toast, in yogurt, jam tarts, desserts, etc. etc.
This golden red jam turned out to be deliciously sweet and tart, and incredibly easy to make; a perfect jam to make if you have never made jam before. Try this for a taste of the past that won’t disappoint!
Original Recipe: 'Gooseberry Jam, Green or White' (Book 5, 1936)
Speed: 1 hour 15 minutes altogether
Green or white gooseberries, cleaned and dried
Measurements: 1lb fruit = 1lb sugar = 0.5lb water
1. First of all, ensure that you have thoroughly washed your jam jar and allowed this to dry the day before making your jam. Our book specifies that: "it is very important that the jars into which the jam is poured for keeping be perfectly dry. It should be made a rule not to pour the jam in on the day that they are washed. Let them be washed the previous day, well wiped, and then dried in front of the fire or on the rack [for us modern-day dwellers, in the oven], then covered with cloths to keep out the dust until they are wanted. If the least trace of moisture, or even dampness, is in the pots, the jam will turn mouldy."
2. Top and tail your gooseberries, snipping these off with a pair of scissors.
3. Put the sugar into a pan with the water and boil together over a low heat for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring every 10 seconds or so to prevent this from bubbling over.
4. Add in the gooseberries and simmer for 45 minutes, again stirring every 10 seconds or so. It will start to darken and turn a golden-red colour. To test that your jam is ready, put a little onto a cold plate that has been in the fridge and gently nudge it with the back of a spoon. If it jellies, it is done.
5. Take off of the heat and leave to rest for a few minutes. Then, pour into your jam jar and leave to cool completely with the lid off before putting the lid on and storing/using.
Original Recipe for 'Gooseberry Jam, Green or White'
'BOOK 5': Cookery Illustrated and Household Management (1936)
By: Elizabeth Craig
Publisher: Odhams Press Limited (Long Acre, London, W.C.2, England, U.K.)