Caramelized Gooseberry JamPrint Recipe
- 330 g gooseberry
- 270 g granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- dash of salt
- squeeze of fresh lemon
Remove the outer husks of your gooseberries ( if they aren't already removed) and wash the berries.
Add the berries and the sugar to a large sauce pot and place it on high heat for 3 minutes, stirring as you watch the sugar start to turn a dark brown and caramelize then lower to a simmer. When about half of the sugar has turned a dark brown remove it from the heat and carefully add in the water. Scrape down any bits of sugar on the sides and stir to mix before returning to the low heat.
Cook down for 40 minutes stirring at least once in between to break up any gooseberries that haven't opened on their own. Once its cooked down, add a squeeze of lemon to the jam and shut the heat. Let it rest at room temperature for about 10 hours or overnight before moving to a glass jar an placing in the fridge. It will keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge.
Gooseberries make you work for them as each berry is nestled within a paper thin covering but are well worth it and have become one of my favorite fruits. Its a bit like playing Russian roulette, you never know what your going to get. Some berries are tart, some sweet and some just like to play mind games and have both sweet and tart components to them. They are easily found at stores like Whole Foods or Eataly and with their gaining popularity and bragging rights of vitamins, high fiber, potassium, and cooper, but your best bet may be your farmers market.
Speaking of farmers markets, that is where I get them here in West Virginia. It is not as easy to get stuff as NYC but I have finally found my way and improvised. I went to the Farmers market Sunday and upon seeing a huge box of Gooseberries, started salivating, I almost cried when my vendor refused to sell them to me. Her daughter had accidentally left them in the sun and since she didn’t think it was worth to pick through them as a lot had already spoiled, she did not feel she could sell them to me. Yup. So don’t ask how two seconds later she gave me the whole box, for free. Maybe almost 5 pounds worth of them. My farmer was right, it took me about 1 hour to sift through all 5 pounds but I did end up with about 1/3 of it in awesome berries. As these are as temperamental as they are flavorful, I knew there was no way my husband and I could pound down that many before those spoiled as well so I had to turn about half of them into other longer lasting items. Some became pickled, some transformed into a ketchup, and some became a jam. I can play games with the Gooseberries too…
This jam is probably my favorite of all the transformations. The sugar and berries dance in the pot on a high heat so the sugar quickly caramelizes and turns a dark brown, adding not only a envious hue but layers of flavor to the jam that wouldn’t be possible without that reaction. The gooseberries burst open, releasing their juices and pectin so that it solidifies and after a low heat simmer for 40 minutes you’ve got jam. You can play even more with it by adding a tablespoon to a homemade salad dressing, topping your almond butter toast, adding a spoonful to a melted Swiss, ham and spinach panini or just with plain yogurt in lieu of honey.