Monday, February 7, 2011

Cape Gooseberry Jam

Upon my return from holidays I found that I didn't have a veggie garden but a forest of leaves and bugs! We had so much rain when I was away, and I could hardly see the tomatoes on the plants (full of leaves), the zucchini plants were rotten while pumpkins were crawling everywhere, and golly, the Cape gooseberries were out of control!

My problem is that I am not very good at 'thinning' plants. I don't have the courage of killing a seedling just because it gets to close to another one... and the result is this: a mess! I almost felt like removing all the cape gooseberry plants at once, but then I remember the Italian bloggers saying that cape gooseberries are so expensive in Europe... so I picked some and made a jam, on the same afternoon that I got home, even if I was tired from the trip.


700 g cape gooseberries
Juice of half a lemon
500 g sugar (I used cater sugar simply because I just had that in the pantry, having being away so long!)
1 big apple

Wash the freshly picked fruit and place in a large saucepan with a little water and the lemon juice. Bring the fruit to a gentle boil. When the fruit is simmering add the apple, cut and cored but not peeled (the peel contain pectin, which will help your jam set) and the sugar. Stir often and cook for 30 minutes, then blend with an immersion blender. Cook for 10 more minutes, at this point the jam should start setting (check by picking up a little with a metal spoon).

Place the hot jam in sterilised jars, dried in the oven. Either seal the jars with cellophane covers (available in all supermarkets) and secure with an elastic band, or use capsule lids (I use Quattro Stagioni brand).

If using capsule lids, seal the jars well, place in a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the jars. Let the jars cool down in the pot overnight and when they are cold make sure that the capsule has popped by pressing gently on the lid. Properly sterilised jars will keep for over a year.

The jam turned out to be great, possibly one of the best jams I have made recently :-)

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©


  1. Wow, ce li hai in giardino???
    Qui per comprarli devi fare un mutuo :-)

  2. OMG - I am having total "jam envy". I love cape gooseberry jam - it is my absolute favourite. Unfortunately, we don't get them at all down here in Christchurch :-(

  3. Replies
    1. Hi Sue, I live in Timaru, (a bit further South than you). I got some plants from a lady around the corner who has been growing them for years. I planted them in the glass house to get them going and then planted some in the gaarden under ther eaves of the fooves of the house. They came away ok and although they died back in the winter they have come away agin from the base of the plant. I didnot prune them as the came away also from various places on the olsd stalks. We did have a warm winter lst winter so it will be intereting to see how they keep over the coming winter.

    2. My die down too in winter, but seeds are everywhere, and the plants grow everywhere!

  4. must be deliscious!

    hey, se li esporti mandamene un pacchetto, che pure qui non ci scherzano col prezzo, quando li vedi, ed è pure raro!

    bacio Ale!!! buona settimana!

  5. Now that is a flavour i have never had as a jam. It looks lovely.

    I have been neglecting my tiny garden plot. First it was just the winter season, then it was the snow, and now - now its raining non-stop. I just want to stay indoors.

  6. Cavolo,sono sempre più estasiata dalle meraviglie laggiù!Ieri parlavo di te e delle meravigliose immagini della NZ al mio boy...chissà che un giorno non si venga a fare un giro lì!Bacione

  7. WOW ce li hai pure in giardino?! Non ho mai visto la pianta e tanto meno assgagiato la marmellata...qui costano un sacco al super e non si trovano nemmeno sempre! Le ingiustizie della vita... ;-)

  8. Oh yes Cape gooseberry are very expensive here, lucky you its grows in ur own farm haven't actually tried jam version of it looks scintillating :)

  9. Today I was going to pull the plants out to make space for carrots, but maybe I'll leave them in a little longer now...

  10. The jam has an unusual color. I've not seen gooseberries in our markets. I'll have to search around. I'm curious as to how they taste. I hope you do get a chance to rest before the book again looms large and demands attention. Have a good evening. Blessings...Mary

  11. And I thought that I had made and tasted all the jam that exists - I was so wrong! Wow, I would love to try this... thank you for sharing. Now I have to find some gooseberries.

  12. That looks lovely! I don't see cape gooseberries much here but I did buy lots when I was in London! :)

  13. I'm going to be growing some Cape Gooseberries this year, so I hope that at the appropriate time I remember to look for your recipe...
    This jam is not something that you can buy in the shops (not here, anyway).

  14. Good Luck Mark, I find them quite invasive, but here it is warm and wet, they spread quickly!

  15. Yum! Looks like very good jam! Does it keep fine with only cellaphane and rubber bands to seal the jars..or do you have to put the jars in the fridge? I just made a very delicious coconut and cape gooseberry syrup cake. I posted the details on my facebook page... check it out...its another great way to use these hardy fruits!

    1. It keeps well with the plastic top and rubber band, as long as you put it one as soon as you pour the hot jam in. Don't need to put it in the fridge until you open it.

  16. Just made this, and it turned out like an absolute dream. Raided my parents' massively overgrown gooseberry bushes yesterday for this exact reason.
    Possibly the best jam ever, definitely the best jam I've ever made.

  17. I got home on Monday after 6 weeks away and also have cape gooseberries everywhere. I've never added any other fruit as I've always found the gooseberries high in pectin anyway, especially if you add a few green ones as well. I also throw gooseberries in with other jam ie strawberry to help it set. I also like to add whiskey to the gooseberries for an even richer flavor. I picked a heap yesterday so is better get started. I live that gooseberries grow in poor soil and thrive on neglect and are fairly bug resistant

  18. Thank you for this recipe! It turned out great!

  19. I will make some place for growing gooseberry in my garden. It is a very beneficial fruit and can cure many health related issues. Thank you for posting this informative blog. Keep sharing.

    Mantis Hugo
    Gooseberry Juice


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts with Thumbnails