Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Gooseberry and Elderflower Jam

Since coming back from holiday, we've been sticking wonderfully to our resolution of going out for long walks at least once a week.  Walking through field and woods and enjoying the sights and smells of the wild flowers and birdsong. 

Well away from a road, and crop spraying I found a wonderful elderberry bush fragrant with the pollen on its newly opened we had to stop and came away with a large carrier bag full.  The extra pockets in my walking trousers always house a bag for foraging! 

The previous day I had spied some wonderful small gooseberries at the market, but with an eye watering price...but they were local and I imagined the pricks of the pickers and succumbed, having got a little mark down as I bought over a kg, made up from several small punnets.  I love it that this market holder will decant the fruit into brown paper bags and reuse the plastic tubs.

I started by using the scissors to top and tail the gooseberries, but found that nipping them with finger and thumb did a much better job.  It took ages, and in the end finished this jam around midnight!

I wanted to made a green jam...and these little gooseberries looked a little under ripe, often the best for pectin etc...but the jam did turn a delightful blush colour in the end, so the berries must have been on the ripe side.  I wonder if there will be some elderflower petals in the jam.  If I lived in the really great gooseberry growing areas, I might be able to ask someone for their thinnings, which would give green jam!

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