Jelly making is an artform that I have watched my grandmother and my mother engage in since I was a little girl. We would spend our summer’s on the family ranch in the mountains of Montana where gooseberries grow in abundance. Grandma would send us out behind the horse pasture with gallon buckets and aspirations of filling them to the brim. When we returned, she would turn the literal fruits of our labor into what grandpa would refer to as, “the nectar of the Gods” – gooseberry jelly!
*Grandma’s Tips for Gooseberry Jelly:
- Cover the berries with water
- Boil them hard
- 1 gallon of berries will probably produce about 2 gallons of jelly
As an adult, I am back at the family ranch for the summer cooking meals for the hay crew, and my oldest son is driving a hay rake! While here, I have decided to learn the craft of jelly making and, of course, put a keto spin on it! Using monk fruit sweetener I was able to turn this jelly into a keto delicacy!
This slightly tart and sweet jelly pairs perfectly with your favorite keto bread or with one of my keto vanilla scones!
Foraging for the Fruit
Gooseberries grow best in cool-summer climates and can be found in select climates in North America and Europe. The berry ranges in flavor from very tart to very sweet, depending on the stage of ripeness of the fruit. The growing season is very short, so harvesting and then canning or freezing the berries can extend the period of use.
The berries grow on branches covered in thorns, so I like to wear a protective glove, on one hand, to hold the branches securely while picking the fruit. I also find that picking a combination of green and purple berries helps achieve that sweet/tart flavor that I enjoy in this preserve.
Picking berries in the mountains of Montana next to this gorgeous lake makes me wish the berry picking season was just a little longer.
What You Will Need
- Jelly jars with lids
- Large pot for sanitizing jars and lids
- Saucepan for boiling berries
- Stirring spoon
- Saucepan to strain juice
- Liquid measuring cup
- Dry measuring cups
- Secure-Grip Jar Lifter
- Cheese cloth
- Clothes Pins
- Sure Jell
- Cooling rack
- Tin foil
*You can reuse old jelly jars and the rings, but you will need new snap lids (discs). They have a special sealing compound around the edges, and they are only designed for one-time use.
Prepare Your Area
You will want to have your area well prepared in advance. Fill your sanitizing pot with water, jars, and lids, and bring to a boil. Have the towel laid out where you will place the piping hot jars to fill with jelly, and clip your cheese cloth onto a saucepan for straining your juice. There are quite a few steps involved in jelly making, and having all of your supplies at the ready and all of your ingredients pre-measured will help ensure a smooth process.
Keto Gooseberry Jelly
- 8 jelly jars
- cheese cloth
- jar gripper
- 3 large sauce pots
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- clothes pins
- gallon gooseberries
- enough water to cover the berries
- 1 cup additional water to add to the juice that is produces
- Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin
- 3 cups granulated monk fruit sweetener
- Remove the lids and discs from the jelly jars and wash them with warm soapy water, then place them in a pot of water. Bring them to a boil, and allow them to continue to boil right up until you remove them to fill with jelly.
- Lay out a towel and a cooling rack for the hot jars, and use clothes pins to fasten four layers of cheesecloth over the top of a saucepan to strain the juice.
- Place the berries in another saucepan and cover with water. Bring this to a boil, and allow to boil for 20 minutes. Stir and mash the berries to encourage them to release all of their juices. Remove from the heat.
- Carefully pour this mixture over the cheesecloth and allow it to drip into the prepared saucepan. Once the drip slows, take tinfoil and bundle the berry mash in the cheesecloth. Carefully squeeze any remaining juice into the saucepan.
- Measure out 3 cups of juice. Place the juice into a saucepan and add 1 cups of water and one package of Sure Jell. Bring to a roiling boil, while stirring constantly. Add the sugar and bring back to a boil. Once boiling set a timer for exactly one minute. Remove from the heat, and skim off any foam.
- Use the Secure Grip Jar Lifter to place the hot jars and lids onto a towel. Pour the mixture into the prepared jars leaving about a 1/4 inch of space at the top. Screw the lids on tightly and set on a cooling rack. The seals on the jars will make a popping sound as they seal. After the jars have cooled check the seals by pressing on the center of the lid. If the seal pops back and forth, then a proper seal was not achieved, and that jar should be kept refrigerated.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for keto gooseberry jelly. It is a labor of love that has brought my family years of enjoyment. As always, happy snacking! Let me know in the comments below if you try this recipe!
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