Gooseberry & vanilla jam

Gooseberry & vanilla jam

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 25 mins - 40 mins

More effort

Makes about 2kg
Preserve the unique, tart flavour of gooseberries in this summer preserve infused with sweet vanilla and tangy apple

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per tbsp

  • kcal39
  • fat0g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs10g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre0g
  • protein0g
  • salt0.1g
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  • 1kg gooseberry, topped and tailed



    The size of large grapes, but with a more spherical shape, gooseberries are related to the…

  • 400ml unsweetened clear apple juice (or use water)
  • 1kg granulated sugar
  • knob of butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out


  1. Sterilise the jars and any other equipment before you start (see tip, below). Put a couple of saucers in the freezer, as you’ll need these for testing if the jam is ready later (or use a sugar thermometer). Put the berries and juice (or water) in a preserving or very large deep pan, bring to a simmer, then cook for about 15 mins until the fruit is very tender.

  2. Add the sugar to the pan and heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved – do not boil at this point. Turn up the heat and cook the jam at a rolling boil, skimming away any scum that comes to the top as it cooks. After about 10 mins, spoon a little jam onto a cold saucer. Leave for a few secs, then push the jam with your fingertip. If it wrinkles, the jam is ready. If not, cook for a few mins more and test again on another cold saucer. (If you have a sugar thermometer, it will read 105 degrees when ready.)

  3. Give the jam a final skim, stir in the butter, then the vanilla seeds and the pod too. Let the jam cool for a few mins – this will thicken it and prevent any lumps from sinking to the bottom of the jars – then ladle into hot jars, seal and leave to cool.

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Comments, questions and tips

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29th Jun, 2016
I can't tell you just how gorgeous this jam is! I make smalls jars of jam rather than large ones so I can give some away. I ended up making 3 batches of it last year as it was so delicious! Every one wanted more! In total I've made 18 jars. The longer you leave it the stronger the vanilla taste so if you can resist try and leave it to mature for a few months. I also cut the pod into small lengths and put a piece in each jar. My favourite jam of all time!
creepy_sheep's picture
8th Jul, 2015
Made this with some gooseberries I'd had in the freezer for ages and vanilla pods I'd found on special offer and it tasted great! Very easy recipe; it's only the second time I've ever made jam and it turned out perfectly.
26th Jun, 2014
Easy recipe and very tasty with the vanilla adding a lovely subtle flavour - will definitely make again from our glut of gooseberries, although the vanilla pods are quite pricey. Makes 4 full jars.
20th Jun, 2014
After adding the vanilla pod to the jam pan do you then add the whole pod to one of the jars of jam or remove before adding jam to jars?
29th Jun, 2016
I cut the pod into short lengths and add a bit to each jar.
29th Jun, 2016
Cut the vanilla pod into short lengths and put one in each jar and leave to mature for a couple of months to let the vanilla flavour get stronger.
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