Gooseberry Jam

The colour of gooseberry jam depends on the variety and ripeness of the fruit, on the pan (if it is copper or brass the jam tends to be green) and on the length of time the jam is cooked after the sugar has been added (the longer it is cooked the deeper the red colour of the finished jarn). If elder-flowers are available, the addition of

20 heads tied in a piece of cheesecloth adds a most attractive flavour. The elderflowers must be removed before the sugar is added.

4 lb. unripe gooseberries, trimmed and washed l{ pints water

4 lb. preserving or granulated sugar

In a large preserving pan or saucepan, bring the gooseberries and the water to the boil over moderately high heat. When the mixture comes to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes, or until the fruit is soft.

Add the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve it. When the sugar is completely dissolved, increase the heat to high and bring the jam to the boil. Con-tinue boiling until setting point is reached.

To test the jam for setting, remove the pan from the heat, put a spoonful of jam on a cold saucer and allow it to cool.

Setting point has been reached when the surface of the jam sets and wrinkles when pushed with your finger. If setting point has not been reached, return the pan to the heat and continue boiling, testing every few minutes. Alternatively, use a sugar thermometer. When the temper-ature reaches 220°F to 222°F the jam will set.

When setting point is reached, skim the scum off the surface of the jam with a slotted spoon.

Using a jug or ladle, fill clean, warm, dry jars to within

½ inch of the tops. Cover the surface of the jam with a waxed paper circle, taking care to leave no air bubbles between the jam and the paper. Wipe the outside and the inside rims of the jars with a warm damp cloth to remove any stickiness.

Cover the tops with jam covers and fasten with an elastic band. Label the jars and, when cool, store them in a cool, dry place.

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