Ever since finding them at the farmers market in town I have been obsessed with gooseberries. Not as common as they once were, these tart little jewels remind me of childhood when gooseberry pie seemed to be as common as cherry pie. We don't need a lot of whole pies at our house, so I'm always looking for new ways to use gooseberries that fits in our tiny family food needs. Jams and jellies are perfect.
Making jelly is very easy. Once you've got the fruit juiced it's a piece of cake after. Of course you can do it old school and cook until you have reached the gel point, and not use pectin, but I find using pectin offers more flexibility. Inside the box of pectin there is a little flyer with directions and using these directions makes it easy to use different berries or fruits, and even combinations to make your own custom flavors.
I love this gooseberry jelly. It's the perfect balance of tart and sweet, and can be any color from pale golden to a rosy pink, depending on the type of berries you have. Let's get busy making jelly, shall we?
4-5 lbs gooseberries
1 cup water
1 box powdered pectin
7 cups sugar
Crush or grind the gooseberries. Place in large saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Pour the berries into a juice bag over a large bowl. Allow the berries to drain naturally until the bag stops dripping. Gently squeeze bag to remove all juice. Measure 5 1/2 cups juice (you can add apple juice if you don't have quite 5 1/2 cups).
Prepare a boiling water bath canner, half pint jars and lids.
Put juice in large pot, stir in the pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Add the entire amount of sugar at once. Return to full rolling boil while stirring; boil one minute.
Ladle jelly into hot jars to 1/4 inch head space. Process for 10 minutes.
NOTE: This recipe has not been tested by the NCHFP. If you are not comfortable canning untested recipes, please do not use this one.