The best gooseberries for jam are slightly under-ripe. Wash the fruit, top and tail, and put into a pan with the water. Simmer for about 30 minutes until soft, mashing the fruit and stirring well. Stir in the sugar over low heat until dissolved. Boil hard to setting point, pour into hot jars and cover. Gooseberries which remain green when ripe will yield a green jam if the fruit and sugar are cooked quickly together – prolonged boiling results in a red jam. Fully-ripe or dessert gooseberries yield a lightly-setting pink jam. For a delicate muscat flavour, tie a few elderflower heads in muslin and suspend them in the pan while cooking the fruit in water.
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