Do Brits contract berries to two syllables as some form of cultural superiority thing? RASP-bries, STRAAW-bries, GOOOOSE-bries and such. No matter, it’s a minor affectation when uttered from us Yanks, so of course I’m all for it.
Gooseberries have proven elusive out here on the easternmost reaches of Long Island. Luckily the proliferation of all things locavore, heritage and old-timey has resulted in gooseberries showing up at my favorite farm stands. (I’m talking about you Balsam Farms.) So at long last, I have a recipe for Gooseberry Raspberry Jam to share.
But I digress. The first batch I snagged was a mix of yellowy-green fruit with some red ones. As best as I can determine, these were the real deal, straight-on gooseberries with some of them riper than the others, hence the mix of light and dark colors. Fair enough.
Next I snagged a couple pints of darker berries, garnet colored down to the last one. Slovenly online research (only first page Google results) indicated these darkies are known as sweet gooseberries and indeed the red batch was less tart than the fairer ones.
Gooseberries have tough skins, akin to tomatoes in their durability, and plenty of black seeds. So into the pot for a cook and mash to release all the fruity pulp then a good grinding through the food mill for a smooth thick pulp.
Into the mix went some lovely raspberries for a bit of chunky heft. The gooseberry pulp was pretty red at this point so the raspberries insinuated themselves nicely.
I’ve become a fan of Ball No-Sugar Pectin. Oddly, even with “No Sugar” emblazoned across the pink box, you can (and should) add some sugar to the recipes, but not nearly as much as needed with the regular pectins. Some sugar keeps things from straying into penitent, overly-virtuous territory. Added benefit: less sugar nets out to a more pronounced fruit flavor.
I’m also a fan of the Progressive canning funnel. It has a collar that fits over the rims of the jars, keeping them clean, which makes putting the lids on easier. Take a look-see here.
Click here for the recipe for Gooseberry and Raspberry Jam.