First sterilise your jars by washing thoroughly in very hot soapy water. Rinse in very hot water then put on a baking sheet in a 140C/fan 120C/gas 1 oven until completely dry.
Put the gooseberries, lemon juice and 400ml water in a large wide pan (use a preserving pan if you have one). Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes until the fruit is very soft and pulpy. Put 2 or 3 small saucers in the freezer (these will be used to test the setting later on).
Add the sugar and stir over a gentle heat for another 10 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved. You don’t want it to boil at this point as the sugar could crystallize. Once you can’t feel or see any grains of sugar bring to the boil and boil hard for 10 minutes, skimming the surface as you go and stirring now and again to stop it catching. The jam will start to turn a pinky red hue as it cooks.
Spoon a little jam onto a chilled saucer, leave to cool then run your finger through it. If it’s ready it will wrinkle up. If this doesn’t happen boil for another 5 minutes then keep testing and boiling until it does.
Do a final skim on the finished jam then pour into the sterilised jars and seal. Store in a cool dark place – the jam will be good for up to 6 months. Keep in the fridge once opened.
The right sugarGooseberries are naturally high in pectin so you don’t need to use specialist jam sugar for this.
Our downloadable labelsDownload our printable preserves labels – perfect for writing cook’s notes and gift messages. You can find them here.