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.