Friday, 14 August 2015
Blush gooseberry and chia seed jam
Blush gooseberries are a fruit that's new to me - I'd never seen them to buy but quite excitingly that's what grows on the gooseberry bush in our garden so I was keen to do something with them. And of course jam it was.
Previously I've made Gooseberry and apple jam which was and is a huge favourite of mine, but as I said in my Periscope video this morning, life with Harry doesn't lend itself to getting the maslin and jam jars down from the loft, sterilising everything and only then starting to make the jam. This recipe took less than half an hour from start to finish, used a normal saucepan, one jam jar, a potato masher and a tablespoon which is much more conducive to happening whilst Harry naps.
Speed and ease of making aside - one of the reasons this is such a straightforward recipe is the teeny tiny chia seeds. These understated black pinpricks work in jam by absorbing and holding up to ten times their own weight in water. As you cook the fruit and honey down, the little black seeds develop an almost gelatinous coating which is why they make such a perfect addition to a quick set, relatively healthy jam. This removes the need for large quantities of sugar - by using honey I've in fact kept this recipe entirely free from refined sugar.
However, becuase this isn't a traditional jam - as I said in the Periscope video it won't keep for months and months on end in the cupboard or loft. It'll last about a week, maximum two in the fridge - so if I were you (or me in fact) I'd make it when you have your eye on a batch of scones, some homemade bread or scotch pancakes which would all benefit from a large dollop of this glorious confection.
This is such an easy recipe - so easy in fact that you can do it while sleep deprived!
Blush gooseberry & chia seed jam
400g of fruit - I used Blush gooseberries, green gooseberries and a handful of foraged blackberries
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons chia seeds
Prep your fruit - in the case of gooseberries, wash, top and tail them
Pop the fruit in a large pan with the honey and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes until the berries start to soften and come to the boil
Mash the living daylights out of the fruit with a potato masher
Turn the heat down to low, add the chia seeds and continue to cook for 20 or so minutes, stirring every couple of minutes
Here you have it - Blush gooseberry and chia seed jam. Perfectly sweet, beautifully set and so easy a sleep deprived mother running purely on coffee can do it whilst making her first Periscope. True story.
I'm entering this into Ren Behan's Simple and In Season this month.