Is summer here yet? All I could remember was a few weeks of warm spring days that seemed a long time ago. Then, autumn weather started to set in. Again, we seem to have skipped summer this year! Blame the unusually southerly location of the jet stream.
I was watching news yesterday evening and was overly excited when I heard the jet stream is expected to move northwards soon. So, that means Britain may have a real summer! Well, it better be as I am so sick of the rain – it has been raining on and off without fail on a daily basis. The temperature struggles to climb beyond 20°C!
It’s true that my mood is so easily affected by the gloomy weather. However, to keep myself in positive mood, I always turn to food. I try make the most of summer produce! As you all may know that I never fail to indulge myself with berries of any kind. I was at a farmers’ market a few days ago and I saw lots of gooseberries! Yes, loads of them, especially the green ones! I got about 4 boxes of 400g each, having a few ideas in mind how to use them.
Last year around this time of the year, I made Vanilla Panna Cotta with Red Gooseberry Compote, which I adore. This time, I decided to make gooseberry jam. It’s great as I don’t have to wait for another summer to eat gooseberries. I have used cinnamon and vanilla to infused the jam. You can make it without if you prefer. I like how cinnamon gives a slightly deep brown shade to the jam and it smells wonderful! I think I should have enough to keep until next year if I don’t keep having gooseberry jam with my toasts.
6cm piece of cinnamon
1 vanilla pod
1. Wash, top and tail the gooseberries. Put the gooseberries and 120ml of water into a big saucepan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 8 minutes or until softened.
2. Add the sugar, stir and cook over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Then, bring it to the boil for about 10 minutes. Adjust the sweetness if necessary. Remove from the heat.
3. To test if the jam has set, take a saucer and drop a spoonful of jam. Allow it to cool for a minute or 2, then push your finger through the jam. If it wrinkles, then it's ready. If not, boil for a few more minutes. Continue to test until it's ready. When the jam is ready, leave to stand for 10 minutes.
4. Transfer the jam to sterilised jam jars and seal tightly when the jam is completely cool.