What’s a Jostaberry? I didn’t know either. The Balsam Farms guy said it was like a gooseberry, which was information enough for me to make this sweet-tart Jostaberry Jam recipe.

My extensive research (the first Wiki page that popped up) revealed the Jostaberry is another modern miracle of German genetic sciences.

– The Jostaberry is a hybrid of black currant, American coastal black gooseberry and European gooseberry, and tastes like a, well, halfway between black currant (sweet) and gooseberry (tart).

– The name Jostaberry combines the German words for blackcurrant (Johannisbeere) and gooseberry (Stachelbeere). 

– Who remembers 1977? That’s when Jostas first became available to the public.

– Their relative rarity is due to labor-intensive hand picking only and propagation by cuttings rather than seed. Plus birds love them.

– On the bright side, the plant is thornless.

Who else would tell you these things?

Following The Kitchn’s lead in their post on gooseberries, Jostaberries are also packed with pectin. Because they’re sweeter I did a 2-to-1 fruit/sugar ratio, vs. gooseberries’ 2 to 1 1/2 fruit/sugar formula.

1 1/2 lbs. ripe Jostaberries
1/2 c. water
12 oz. sugar

Wash the berries and pick over. Nip off both ends of the berries — one end has a shriveled remnant of blossom, the other has the stem. Both must go!

Stew the berries in the water for 15 minutes over med-low heat.  Meanwhile heat the sugar in a 200° oven — this will hasten the cooking when the sugar is added.

After 15 minutes the fruit should be soft and mushy.  Use a wooden spoon to break it down further if needed.

Add the hot sugar and stir until dissolved. Turn heat up to medium-high, stirring all the while. When it comes to a full-on boil that will not stop, cook, stirring, for 6 minutes.

Pour into sterilized 1/2 pint jam jars. Seal and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Makes 3 1/2 pint jars.




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Written by on July 9, 2013 under ALL RECIPES, East Hampton, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Relish.

  • Anna

    Thank you for the recipe! Totally just made this jam! It’s amazing by the way. Excited to pair it with some fish from Stewart’s tomorrow. I see you went to Balsam Farms which is awesome- I live in Amagansett! I recently bought the gooseberries there and made a cucumber and gooseberry gazpacho with them (highly recommend). Once again, thank you for sharing!

  • Sean

    Goodness Anna, what a lovely comment. Balsam and Stewarts — my go-tos too. And if you don’t already make sure to check out the Lester’s scallops just up and around the corner (there’s a post about them somewhere on the site). Sean

  • Ketta

    Jostaberries are the result of crosses between 3 types of berries: blackcurrant, European gooseberry, and a species of Pacific coast black gooseberry. When eaten raw, they tend to favor the gooseberry flavors, and when cooked up, the blackcurrant flavors tend to be more dominant. Thanks for providing your recipe–great ratio, and they also go very well with raspberries and redcurrants!

    • Sean

      Good info, thanks for sharing.

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