Gooseberry and Bay Leaf Preserve

Makes: 3 340g jars of gooseberry conserve

What you will need:

  • 600g gooseberries
  • 600g sugar
  • 3 fresh bay leaves

What to do:

  1. Top and tail the gooseberries, wash and drain in a colander.
  2. Place the gooseberries, bay leaf and sugar into a heavy base saucepan over medium heat. Gently melt the sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved turn the heat up and bring to a vigorous boil.
  3. Wash the edges of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in hot water; this will prevent the jam from crystallising. Do not stir the jam while it is boiling, this will encourage crystallisation.
  4. Boil the jam for about 10 -12 minutes, temperature 104°C – 106°C; this is the ideal setting point for the jam.
  5. I do not use pectin or pectin rich sugar and for that reason it is crucial to measure the temperature and follow the few rules outlined above.
  6. When  the correct temperature is reached remove the jam from the heat.
  7. Have your jam jars ready, cleaned and sterilised, as it is important to decant the hot jam as soon as possible.
  8. Place a small cartouche of parchment paper directly on to the hot jam and close the jar immediately whilst the jam is hot.
  9. Make sure your hands are clean or wear disposable gloves.
  10. Cool the jam jars, clean and label them.


The British Larder is a recipe diary that is written, tried and tested by professional chefs Madalene Bonvini-Hamel and Ross Pike.