What Are Gooseberry Preserves?

Gooseberry cut in half
Gooseberries still on the bush
Whole gooseberries
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  • Written By: J. Gonzalez
  • Edited By: M. C. Hughes
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Gooseberry preserves, also known as gooseberry jam, is a jelly-like spread that is made from a combination of ripe gooseberries, sugar and water. Depending on the variety and ripeness of the gooseberry used prepared gooseberry preserves can vary in color ranging anywhere from green to a light pink. Prepared gooseberry preserves are delicious when spread on toasted bread, or used in baked goods. Making preserves out of fresh fruit like gooseberries is an easy and cost effective way to make use of summer fruit crops.

When making homemade gooseberry preserves one needs the following ingredients: 6 cups (1440 ml) of fresh gooseberries, the juice of one lemon, 5 (1200 ml) cups of granulated sugar, 1 1/4 (245 ml) cups of water, one large sauce pan, and canning or jarring equipment. Begin by cleaning and removing the stems from both ends of the gooseberries, and then place the berries in a sauce pot with water and cook over medium heat until the fruit is tender. Once the gooseberries are cooked, add the lemon juice and sugar to the sauce pot and stir until the sugar has fully dissolved. After the sugar is dissolved, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. As soon as the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to medium and stir very frequently for about 45 minutes. Place the preserves into jars and follow the basic canning or jarring procedures as directed by your canning equipment.

Adding a twist to a traditional recipe for gooseberry preserves is as simple as adding fresh raspberries to the recipe. To make simple gooseberry-raspberry preserves, combine 1 (240 ml) cup of gooseberries, 1 (240 ml) cup of raspberries, 3 (720 ml) cups of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Add the ingredients to a sauce pot and allow to sit until some juice is released from the fruit. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly until the mixture becomes thick. Store the mixture in sterilized canning jars.

Fruit preserves are a very versatile food; they are well worth the time and effort it takes to make them. Although they are typically used on breakfast foods such as toast, pancakes, crepes, and French toast, preserves can also be used in desserts. Homemade gooseberry preserves can be used as a pastry topping or as a pie filling. To use the preserves for a gooseberry pie, prepare a pie crust as desired, fill the pie with preserves, and bake.

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