Monday, May 25, 2009

Canning Gooseberry Jam

I think that growing up on a farm with a variety of wild berries contributed to my desire to try new foods. If nature planted it and it wasn't poisonous, then I had to try it.

Wild gooseberries are pretty small compared to their cultivated cousins. When you are picking a berry this small, it can take a while to get enough to make batch of jam or a gooseberry pie. I suppose that if it kept me out of trouble, then it was time well spent.

Most people that I talk to, say that they have never even tried gooseberries. I think they are missing out. If you like tart fruits, then I would suggest planting a gooseberry bush in your garden.

Gooseberries are interesting in that they can be eaten green or ripe, either way. I like to use a mixture of both.

Today's recipe is my own, I have found that it sets quite well, but as I said, I use a mixture of both ripe and green berries. I am not sure how it would work with only ripe berries (which have less natural pectin in them). I am guessing that the powdered pectin would still be enough to make it set, but I have never tested that. Yield is about 6 half-pint jars.

4 cups crushed gooseberries
1 package powdered Pectin
6 cups sugar

Combine berries and pectin. Bring to boil over high heat. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam, if necessary. Fill hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Add lids and process 10 minutes in a water bath.

High altitude instructions
1,001 - 3,000 feet : increase processing time by 5 minutes
3,001 - 6,000 feet : increase processing time by 10 minutes
6,001 - 8,000 feet : increase processing time by 15 minutes
8,001 - 10,000 feet : increase processing time by 20 minutes


  1. I would LOVE to try this!! Sadly, gooseberries are a prohibited fruit in my state and we are not allowed to grow them (something about gooseberries and pine trees don't get along, and the pine trees won).

    Some day, some day, I will have a gooseberry jam!!

  2. Your blog is just looking lovelier all the time!

    I ate gooseberries as a girl when we were living in the country. I also picked and ate lots of salmonberries. (I think that's what they were called.)

    Boy, I am just having the hardest time deciding which kind of jam to make 1st!

  3. I have never seen an actual gooseberry...hmmm, they must be around here somewhere. This sounds yummy :)

  4. I do not think I have ever heard of gooseberries! I did a little research and found that the federal government had banned the plant until the 1960's because of it hosting a rust virus that hops to pine trees. Hmmmm, I think I will see if I can find a plant. I noticed that Virginia Tech was writing about it in their extension office, so I guess Virginia can grow it.
    Thanks for the discovery! They sound yummy!

    (Anna's Momma)

  5. You made me curious so I decided to read up on the natural habitat of gooseberries. The wild berries that I picked as a child are natives to the area, but the plants from green houses are actually hibreds from England.

    It would make sense to ban gooseberries in New England, since nature planted miles of forest there. Iowa on the other hand is native prairie. It was humans that planted trees were they didn't naturally grow.

    I think letting each state make its own decisions based on the natural habitat of the area makes more sense then a federal ban.

  6. I think people who haven't tried gooseberries are missing out, too!

    They used to be very common here in the UK, but sadly no longer. I'm not sure why - perhaps they're difficult to grow commercially, and a bit of a tricky 'sell'. A shame, 'cos I love 'em! I'd certainly love to try wild gooseberries, too - I've never come across them.

  7. I totally agree, Charlotte. Let the states decide! A federal ban is not the answer! Great researching!


  8. I don't think the federal ban is in existence any more. I think it's individual states that decide now. I know that in NY, it's legal to grow gooseberries and currants now. I may try this recipe with my Jostaberries (gooseberry-currant cross). Thanks!


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