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Chef Phil’s Gooseberry Jam

If you’ve enjoyed a meal with us recently, you may have tried Chef Phil’s gooseberry jam. These blackcurrant-like berries are in abundance at this time of year and thanks to our local, domestic gardeners who supply us with the fruits of their labour, Phil has to get creative to make sure he uses all the produce that comes his way.

So gooseberry jam has been making a regular appearance on the menu over the last few weeks, alongside his delicious chicken liver pate. But you could enjoy it at home with a slice of mature cheddar cheese.

Anyway, we thought you might like the recipe – enjoy!


1kg Dessert Gooseberries
1kg Caster Sugar
Juice of 1 Lemon
50ml Damson Gin
  1. First, sterilise your jars by washing thoroughly in very hot soapy water. Rinse in very hot water then put on a baking sheet in a 140C/fan 120C/gas 1 oven until completely dry.
  2. Put 2 or 3 small saucers in the freezer (these will be used to test the setting later on)
  3. Place the gooseberries, lemon juice, sugar and 50ml damson gin in a large wide pan. Bring to a  simmer for 15 minutes until the fruit is very soft and pulpy.
  4. Stir over a gentle heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the jam doesn’t catch. The jam will start to turn a deep-red hue as it cooks.
  5. Spoon a little jam onto a chilled saucer, leave to cool then run your finger through it. If it’s ready it will wrinkle up. If this doesn’t happen boil for another 5 minutes then keep testing and boiling until it does.
  6. Do a final skim on the finished jam then pour into the sterilised jars and seal. Store in a cool dark place – the jam will be good for up to 6 months. Keep in the fridge once opened
Tip: Dessert gooseberries are sweeter than the traditional green gooseberry and have a high pectin content, so there is no need for preserving sugar for this recipe