My vegetable patch is a disaster this year but the soft fruit is still growing quite well in our wet summer. The blackcurrants are ripening but without sun the goosberries are soft but still vert tart. Even so, some kind visitors went out and picked a few kilos of fruit last week for me. I froze gooseberries for smoothies and the rest I made into jam with blackcurrants. The blackcurrants give the jam a sensational colour whilst the gooseberries make the jam fragrant. My recipe here is not super sweet as I prefer jam to be flavoursome but not tasting too much of sugar but you can add more sugar if this is too tart for you.
700g (1.54 lbs) blackcurants
1300g (2.86 lbs) gooseberries
2kg (2.2 lbs) fair trade sugar
1 pint of water
a knob of butter or magarine
Top and tail the gooseberries and make sure the blackcurrants are destalked. Wash thoroughly. Put half of the fruit into a preserving pan. Cover with half the sugar. Add the rest of the fruit and remaining sugar plus the pint of water. Leave for an hour and allow the sugar to dissolve.
Come back and bring to the boil stirring continuously. Then turn down the heat and simmer for at least 45 minutes. If you have a jam thermometer test the mixture to make sure it has reached an appropriate heat to set. If you do not, place a teaspoon of jam on a cold plate from the freezer and leave for a few minutes. The jam will set if it is ready. It really is that simple!
Maddy Harland is the editor and co-founder of Permaculture - practical solutions for self-reliance, a magazine filled with useful and inspiring features, stories and ideas about all aspects of sustainable living from gardening and farming to green building and renewable technology. Check out a free digital copy HERE. Subscribe to the print edition HERE.