'Topping and Tailing' gooseberries - one of my first cooking jobs as a child - happy days
, Topped and tailed
Sugar, White granulated
ĎTop and tailí the gooseberries - remove the stalks at either end of the fruit using a small pair of scissors. Wash if necessary, drain well in a colander.
Place in a large jam pan, add a mugful of water to prevent sticking and put over a low heat to start the juices running. When gooseberries are cooked through and soft, remove from the heat and stir in the sugar until dissolved
Place back onto the heat, turn it up higher and bring the contents of the pan up to the boil, then reduce to a 'rolling boil'. When the jam has darkened and thickened slightly, usually after 10mins or so, you can test for a set.
Turn off the heat, allow to rest for 10 mins. then pot the jam into the warm, sterilised jars sealing immediately.
The jam will keep, in a cool, dark place for several years - there is no need to refrigerate either open or unopened.
Variation: Gooseberry and Elderflower Jam
Pick 8-10 heads of elderflowers, shake well and check for any insects etc. Place on top of the gooseberries when cooking , avoid stirring in. Remove the flowerheads prior to adding the sugar. Donít worry about any flowerlets which make their way into the jam - they just add interest and flavour.