Barbados Gooseberry Jam

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Barbados gooseberries are the fruit of a cactus plant and have a tart lemon-like flavor with the distinct earthy characteristics of cactus - if you’ve ever eaten nopales or prickly pear, you’ll find the flavor of these gooseberries to be very familiar! Given that this fruit does come from a cactus, the gooseberries develop a very light gooey consistency when heated. Don't worry, the addition of orange juice helps to cut down on this and the pectin firms the jam so you won’t even notice. This jam is tart but sweet and perfect for spreading on toast and accompanying meringue or a creamy dessert. Add chili flakes for a take on pepper jelly and serve over cream cheese with crackers or as a unique way to spice up avocado toast.

Barbados Gooseberry Jam

  • 3 pints Barbados Gooseberries
  • 3/4-1 cup sugar
  • 1 small orange, juiced
  • 3 Tbsp pectin
  • 1-2 Tbsp chili flakes (optional)

Rinse gooseberries and remove any stems or hard leaves.

Gently squeeze each berry, just enough to break the skin, and add to a large pot. Place over medium heat. The berries will start to release their juices as they warm. Bring to a low simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to soften the fruit. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Process fruit through a food mill to remove skin and seeds, collecting the juice. If you don't have a food mill, place berries in a blender or food processor and pulse several times, until the fruit has broken up and the mixture resembles thick pulp (the seeds should stay mostly intact). Pour into a sieve or strainer lined with two layers of cheesecloth over a large bowl. Gather the cloth in one hand, twisting to close, and gently squeeze the gooseberry pulp until you have collected as much juice as you can.

Pour juice into a medium saucepan and heat over medium-low. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar and orange juice. Bring to a very low simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix pectin into remaining 1/4 cup sugar (use 1/2 cup if you prefer a sweeter jam), stir into the simmering juice until dissolved, and remove from the heat. Add chili flakes, if desired.

Spoon into jars and refrigerate or can in a water bath for long-term storage.

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