After making Sarah Raven’s wonderful soft set Apricot jam earlier in the year I have been playing about with the ‘soft set’ method on other jams. Our goosberry bushes have been over abundant this year so it seems like a good time to try it out on them.
1kg Gooseberries – topped and tailed
100ml neat elderflower cordial if you have it or water if you don’t
500g Granulated Sugar (ordinary sugar)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
Top and tail gooseberries, place in a pan with water/cordial and lemon zest and juice bring gently to the boil and simmer with a lid on for 5-10 mins until gooseberries start to lose their shape and go pulpy. Once the fruit has gone soft reduce the heat and add in the sugar and stir gently until it has all dissolved. One it has all dissolved and NOT BEFORE bring it to a rolling boil for 10 mins**. Let it cool a little and laddle into sterilised jars (about 3x400ml) and seal whilst hot. Gooseberries tend to have a lot of pectin which makes them set easily.
**Earlier in the year, end of May-ish, you can infuse with elderflowers directly, about 6 big heads wrapped in a muslin and infused in the jam for 30 mins off the heat will bring the flowerery scent to the jam.
Because we have less sugar (preservative) in the jam it doesn’t keep as well as traditional jams so keep it for upto 4 weeks and once opened in the fridge for a couple of weeks. Perfect as a tart and sweet compote on yoghurt or with ice cream as well as on you sour dough. It never lasts long in my house!