Thursday 23 June 2011

Surprise Jostaberry Jam

You many remember those large gooseberry bushes on our allotment that we covered rather haphazardly in green netting a couple of weeks ago. Well it turns out they aren't gooseberry bushes after all, they're Jostaberry's instead!

I'd assumed that because the fruit looked gooseberry'esq (well, red gooseberries anyway) as did the leaves on the bushes that they were indeed gooseberries. It was only when browsing through a seed catalogue that dropped through the door that I saw a Jostaberry plant for sale. Advertised as a cross between a blackcurrant and a gooseberry its fruit looked just like ours but it was the fact that the catalogue said the bush was thorn-less, just like ours, that really made me wonder. A quick bit of internet research later and it seemed we'd been wrong all this time, they were Jostaberry bushes.

Anyway, now we knew what they actually were it was time to do something with some of them so we popped up to the plant and picked a bowl full to make some jam with. I love making jam, its so easy and the result is always so tasty it's the perfect way to preserve any soft fruit glut.

We had about 600g of fruit which we topped and tailed before softening them in a large pan for a few minutes. We then added 600g of sugar (I assumed since both blackcurrants and gooseberrys have high pectin levels that Jostaberry would too so just used regular granulated sugar rather than jam making sugar) and let it melt while stirring over a medium heat. 

Once the sugar had all melted (I tent to sample a bit from a teaspoon and see if you can still feel any grainy'ness from the sugar in your mouth) we whacked the heat up to the max, put a lid on, and let it come to a rolling boil for about 15 minutes. 

We then tested to see if it had reached setting point by putting a small sample on a saucer that had been kept nice and cold in the freezer and pushing a finger into it to see if the surface wrinkled. It did, so off the heat came the pan and we gave it a stir to get rid of the surface bubbles. We then left it to stand for another ten minutes or so before pouring it into freshly sterilised jam jars and sealing.

Having cooled overnight now the jam has all set beautifully and, as we found out at breakfast, tastes lovely. Different to both blackcurrant and gooseberry but with hints of both, defiantly something we'll be making again.


dND said...

Really interesting, I've never heard of Jostaberries.

I've got the thornless red gooseberries - I had the thorny variety before but decided to give my scratched hands a rest this time :-)

I love jam making too but I really need to eat my way through some of my stock to make way for the new stuff!

Martin and Amy said...

Well you can't go wrong! That jam looks great!

What a surprise too.

Have a great day!

Martin :0)

melsanford said...

Oooooh! That looks loooovely! I must think more about fruit next year :-) Love 'n' hugs, Mel xx

LindaG said...

How wonderful! Congratulations! :)

Sue Garrett said...

I've been picking jostaberries today. We bought one plant and cut back the stems before we planted it. We used the prunings as cuttings and ended up with about seven bushes, one of which we gave to our plot neighbour. They do grow very quickly into fairly large bushes and so we keep cutting the back.

Jo said...

That looks really tasty, and something a bit different.

Unknown said...

Jostaberries are one o fmy favourite fruits and it's only the past few years that they are being reproduced on a larger scale.

If you want more plants or some to give away - they are really easy to propagate.

In the Autumn just cut off a branch - about 12 inches in length. Trim it just beneath a leaf spur and push into the ground - next spring it will grow roots and the summer after that you will have fruit.

A little tip. If there are no leaves on the twigs when you take cuttings - make sure that you cut at an angle at the bottom - and flat at the top - that way you will know which way is up! Sounds daft but it is easy to forget when you are doing a number of them - or lay them down etc.

fredd said...

Great Piece and very helpful. Last time i tried making jam, i ended up almost poising the visitors.

Jas said...

Thank you for providing a nice, detailed process for making this jam! I have three jostaberry bushes that are bearing this year, and I have been looking for a jam recipe. I've picked today; it looks like this weekend will be jam making time, thanks to you!

Anonymous said...

Just made the jam. Finally got off my tuchus and put the harvest to use. In the past, it has mostly gone to rot (surprisingly no wildlife seems to eat much of it). It tastes great (we are going to bring home some vanilla ice cream after some sushi and drizzle some nuked up jam on it). Thank for the recipe and the inspiration.

Paul and Melanie said...

Glad it was of use, hope the jam turned out well for everyone! ;)

DJ Disner said...

I've read numerous postings that claim the old fruit-and-sugar only, then boil to set destroys good fruit and diminishes the flavor. I totally disagree, and jostaberry is a good example. I also make peach jam the same way. It takes more cooking usually, but the peachness is incredible! In my humble opinion, using pectin just dilutes the flavor and the sweetness and I just don't use it anymore. Nice to see your wonderful posting about jostaberry jam.

Russ said...

i love em because they are thornless and very prolific producers of delicious fruit awesome for jams and pies mix with a regular goosberry and you have a delicious pie serve with valilla ic cream mmmmmmmmm good