In Tango: The Tale of an Island Dog, Augusta makes her beloved Gooseberry Jam to sell at the town’s market.
This version is based on a recipe for “Gooseberry Jam” from the old (1965 edition) Fanny Farmer Cookbook. When we first made this, we didn’t have the “red currant juice” it called for, so I pureed some fresh strawberries in a blender instead. We also didn’t use weight measures (pounds) as the recipe called for, but volume measures (cups) instead.
We grow the gooseberries in our back yard. One robust bush yields an enormous amount of gooseberries. When they’re ripe, the lines on them get a purplish tinge, and when they’re really ripe the whole berry can be a deep purple. You might find gooseberries at a roadside stand or farmers’ market.
Boil together for 5 minutes:
4 cups of sugar
1 quart (4 cups) of strawberries, washed and pureed
8 cups of ripe gooseberries, washed
Boil 40 minutes, skimming as necessary. Set aside, covered, for 24 hours.
Drain off the syrup into a separate pot. Pack the berries into jars that have been boiled. Boil the syrup until almost as thick as honey and pour it over the berries in the jars. Put on the lids and cover tightly. Store as you would any jam.