Wash the berries and top and tail them. Put the fruit into a pan with just enough water to cover. Simmer for about an hour until the fruit is soft. Strain through a jelly bag and measure the juice. Allow 1lb/450g sugar to each pint of juice. Add the cold sugar to the cold juice, and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Boil hard to setting point. Pour into small hot jars and cover. A flavour of muscat grapes will be imparted to the jelly if a bunch of elderflower heads is tied into muslin and hung in the juice while it is being cooked with the sugar. Gooseberry jelly, like apple jelly, is a perfect basis for herb jellies, and has a pretty green colour. It may be easier to make herb jellies when the gooseberries are in season and herbs are abundant and fresh, rather than waiting for later apples.
© 1978 Mary Norwak estate. All rights reserved.