For the longest I didn’t know what to do with green gooseberries. Eating them fresh was my only hobby and I was utterly clueless how to use them in baking. Or cooking. I even hesitated to add them into smoothies.
Five years ago I came across a recipe for Green Gooseberry Limoncello Jam. Unfortunately the recipe link does not exist anymore so directing to the source of inspiration is not possible this time. However, I can share my take on this wonderful fresh jam that has served us well with cake toppings and cheese plates the past years.
Green gooseberries have so much attitude. They’re like the notable Granny Smith of the Great Berry Kingdom. The ripe berries are sweet and contain lots of acid. If you love key lemon pie and lemon tarts, I’ll promise you’ll have so much fun with this jam.
The tart flavor of green gooseberries gets milder in jam. Limoncello liqueur is a great fresh companion for gooseberry, it gives more complexity and an indulgent kick. Take the amount of Limoncello as a reference here – add the liqueur little by little into the jam to find the best balance to your liking. I used quite a bit! Use only ripe green gooseberries. If the berries are too soft to touch, the taste will be rounder and quite different.
500g green gooseberries (fresh or frozen) PREPPING 1. Clean and wash the gooseberries. Remove the stems and cut off brown appendages. 2. Prepare and sterilize the washed glass jars in 125C oven for 15 minutes. Dip the rubber seals, bands or lids in hot water and dry them carefully. COOKING CANNING 7. Leave little air space (1cm) before the top. Close the jar immediately before continuing with the next jar. Let the jars cool on a rack or on a kitchen towel completely before transfering them into fridge. The metallic lids will "klick" when a good vacuum seal is ready.
250g caster sugar
0.25-0,50dl of Limoncello liqueur
3. Measure sugar and (hot) water into a pot. Bring the mixture to boil (takes approx. 10 minutes). Don't stir.
4. Add gooseberries and set the temperature to medium. Then let the jam boil and simmer for 30 minutes on low heat. Add limoncello in the end. Avoid too much stirring, you can shake the pot couple of times during cooking to avoid burning.
5. When ready, transfer the pot aside from the stove. Skim the foam with a shallow ladle or spoon.
6. Can gooseberry jam into hot jars (a wide funnel is a great tool here to avoid unnecessary mess). Wipe any residue or marks of jam with a clean cloth (dip the cloth or paper in hot water before wiping).
500g green gooseberries (fresh or frozen)
1. Clean and wash the gooseberries. Remove the stems and cut off brown appendages.
2. Prepare and sterilize the washed glass jars in 125C oven for 15 minutes. Dip the rubber seals, bands or lids in hot water and dry them carefully.
7. Leave little air space (1cm) before the top. Close the jar immediately before continuing with the next jar. Let the jars cool on a rack or on a kitchen towel completely before transfering them into fridge. The metallic lids will "klick" when a good vacuum seal is ready.
This jar here is the last one from a batch I preserved two years ago. Two years ago! Our green gooseberry plant went crazy that summer and I ended up having 12 litres of berries. I was so overwhelmed by the overall harvest that I postponed the jam making towards winter time with frozen berries among other things.
Take into consideration that the color of the jam darkens in long storage. Fresh jam is vibrant green and this two year old example here shows the the dark olive green tone. The taste is still the same.
This jar here is also a good example of taking care of hygiene when preserving the harvest – always sterilize the jars and lids! If you’re making a bigger batch of this jam, I recommend using a sugar pectin mix.
What about those seeds?
I have a relaxed approach with this homemade jam so I do not press the softened berries through a sieve in the middle of the cooking. Those softened berry lumps are THE THING believe me. If you want to smooth, try making curd instead.
I think this rough version is more versatile in comparison to curd, though. When I first read and tried this jam I envisioned it as a perfect fit for cheese. Later I’ve found out that this jam gives a tasty fresh cut to “overly” sweet cakes and pastries as well. Two of my favorite ways to serve Green Gooseberry Limoncello jam in addition to cheese gatherings is a Swiss roll and a potato cake. If you would like to have the recipe for this leftover potato and almod cake here above, I’m happy to share it later so let me know!
Happy harvesting and love,