In order to be able to enjoy the sweet and sour aroma of gooseberries beyond the harvest season, the preserving and canning of the fruits has proven its worth. Since gooseberries, like their closely related currants, are rich in natural pectin, they are particularly suitable for preserving as jam, jelly or compote. But the berry fruit also tastes delicious when cooked as a whole fruit or as a refined chutney. Here are some delicious recipes for preserving gooseberries.
Preserving gooseberries: The most important facts in brief
If you want to preserve gooseberries, you should harvest the berries before they are fully ripe – this is often the case at the end of May to the beginning of June. In the next step, you can preserve them in a saucepan or in the oven. For the first option, prepare the gooseberries according to the recipe and put them in canning jars. Put the jars in the pot and pour water until they are up to three quarters in water. A temperature of 85 °C / 185 °F is perfect. The canning time for one jar (capacity: 1 liter) is 20 minutes.
Which gooseberries are suitable for preserving?
Whether green, golden yellow or red: depending on the variety, gooseberries ripen between June and the beginning of August – the intended use determines the time of harvest. For fresh consumption, the later you pick the fruit, the sweeter and more aromatic it tastes. If you want to preserve gooseberries, it is best to harvest the berries before they are fully ripe. Then their content of natural pectin is particularly high, and less additional gelling agent is needed for preserving.
For preserving, green gooseberries are usually harvested as early as the end of May to the beginning of June. For the preparation of jam and jelly, they should already have reached their final size, but still be firm. It is best to bring the freshly harvested gooseberries directly from the bush to the kitchen. If they are left lying around, they will quickly ripen at room temperature.
How to preserve gooseberries?
The classic way to preserve gooseberries is to use a special preserving device or a large saucepan with a lid. The gooseberries are first prepared according to a recipe and then filled into clean, hot-rinsed preserving jars using a funnel. Special jars with sealing rings and clamps or twist-off jars have proven to be effective. The jars with the preserving material are tightly closed and placed in the preserving pot so that they do not touch each other. Then add enough water to the pot so that the jars are up to three-quarters in the water. The ideal temperature for canning gooseberries is 85 °C / 185 °F, and the canning time for a jar with a capacity of one liter is 20 minutes.
Alternatively, it is also possible to preserve gooseberries in the oven. It is important to have a good view of the preserves in the oven. The filled and sealed jars are first placed in a fat pan filled with water to a height of one centimeter (0.4 in). Then place the pan on the lowest rack in the oven and set it to 85 °C / 185 °F (convection). As soon as bubbles appear in the jars, turn off the oven and leave them for about 20 minutes in the residual heat. To cool, place the preserves on a cloth or grid.
Recipe 1: Preserve whole gooseberries
Ingredients for about 3 to 4 glasses of 500 milliliters each
- 1 kg gooseberries
- 1 l water
- 500 g sugar
Wash the whole gooseberries, remove the stems and dried up flower remnants. To prevent the berries from bursting later, prick them with a toothpick as needed. Bring the water to a boil and dissolve the sugar in it. Layer the gooseberries in canning jars and fill with the sugar water at 85 °C / 185 °F. The berries should be completely covered with liquid. Close the jars tightly and boil at 85 °C / 185 °F for 20 minutes. Let the jars cool down on a kitchen towel or grid.
Recipe 2: Gooseberry jam
Ingredients for about 5 glasses of 250 ml each
- 1 kg gooseberries
- 500 g jam sugar (2:1)
Wash and clean the gooseberries and put them in a large pot. Lightly mash the fruit with a masher. Then bring the berries to the boil with a little water, add the jam sugar while stirring and boil for about one to two minutes until bubbling. Keep stirring and then remove the pot from the heat. Test the jelly: To do this, pour some fruit mixture onto a saucer and place in the refrigerator for a short time. If the mixture is not stiff enough, bring to the boil again. Fill hot rinsed jars with the jam, close them, immediately put them upside down on the lid and let them cool down.
For a gooseberry-currant jam, simply use 500 grams of gooseberries and 500 grams of currants.
Recipe 3: Gooseberry spread with vanilla
Ingredients for 4 to 5 glasses of approx. 250 ml each
- 2 kg gooseberries
- 2 vanilla pods
- 500 g jam sugar (2:1)
Wash gooseberries, drain and pluck stems. Place fruit in a saucepan, add 400 milliliters of water and boil for 15 minutes until all berries have burst open. Line pasta strainer with damp tea towel or straining cloth and place on top of pot. Pour in juice and berries, drain off juice and let cool. Slit vanilla beans lengthwise and squeeze out pith with the back of a knife. Measure 850 milliliters of juice, mix with the jelling sugar and add vanilla beans and pulp. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a boil in a saucepan, stirring – boil for four minutes until bubbly, stirring constantly. Then remove the saucepan from the heat and eliminate the vanilla beans. Quickly fill the gooseberry spread to the brim in hot rinsed jars and seal tightly immediately.
Recipe 4: Gooseberry chutney
Ingredients for approx. 5 glasses à 150 ml
- 750 g gooseberries
- 1 vegetable onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 cm ginger
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3 stalks thyme
- 3 stalks marjoram
- 300 g sugar
- 250 ml white wine vinegar
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
Wash, clean and halve gooseberries. Peel and finely dice the onion. Peel and finely dice garlic and ginger. Heat oil in a large pot. Briefly sauté garlic and ginger. Rinse thyme and marjoram, shake dry, pluck leaves and chop. Add the sugar to the pot with the onion pieces and heat until the sugar begins to dissolve. Add the vinegar and gooseberries, bring to a boil while stirring. Add the herbs and the crushed mustard and peppercorns. Cook on low heat without a lid for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season the gooseberry chutney with salt and fill into jars. Close tightly and allow to cool completely.