Saturday, August 23, 2008

Forest Fruit

Here in the north west, it's almost end of the season for red currants and gooseberries - so grab them and make jam while you can =)

I think a lot of people are daunted by the idea of making jam - but I think it is less the fear of getting spattered by molten-sugar napalm, and more the whole scary canning process. I know I am.

However, you don't need need to go through the whole spiel of canning if you have some room in your freezer. Not only does freezer jam bypass the jars and the sterilization and the custom equipment, but also sugar needs only to be to taste.

Here's what I did for my jam - note that I only made enough for me and that I'm not planning to freeze such a small amount, but it freezes well.

half pint gooseberries
half pint red currants
sugar to taste
half fresh squeezed lemon (or squeeze of lemon concentrate plus a little water)

Wash fruit - pull currants off the stalk and top n' tail your gooseberries.

Put in a small saucepan and crush with a fork or back of a wooden spoon. add lemon, and sugar to taste. bring heat to medium high and cook, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and everything is liquid-y. you might want to taste again here and add more sugar until it suits your taste: gooseberries are quite tart and you might need quite a bit (I like my jam tart though)

put the heat on low and let it reduce, stirring occasionally (like every minute or so) until the fruit is broken up and the mixture is thickened.

pour into a strainer over a bowl and force it through with the back of a spoon until all that is left is seeds and pulp and things. pour the strained mixture into a tupperware and pop it in the fridge. It should coagulate overnight into a stable jelly.

Today, I put it on french toast with a smear of nutella and a tiny bit of kosher salt (mixed with the nutella ; believe me on this one!)

1 comment:

Grace said...

Perfect timing for this post. I saw pints of gooseberries and didn't know what to do with them. Great simple recipe!