Golden, delicious jam and a quick favourite with my children, cape gooseberry jam has a sweet, zippy flavour that announces spring has arrived! Cape gooseberries (also known as Peruvian ground-cherries) grow on a bush quite easily here in Australia, and once ripe, the berries turn yellow with a semi-transparent, paper-textured husk/covering that is easily removed. Cape gooseberries can be washed and frozen to make jam when you get enough fruit. Do not use unripe (green) cape gooseberries because they are poisonous.
Cape Gooseberries
1kg (husks removed), fresh or frozen (thawed)
1/2 cup
Lemon Juice
1/4 cup (fresh or bottled)
Sugar, White
5 cups
1. Remove husks (coverings) from fresh cape gooseberries.
2. Weigh fruit to determine the batch yield.
2. Sterilise all equipment by washing in hot soapy water and rinsing well before use.
3. Wash and drain fresh gooseberries (or thaw frozen gooseberries before using).
4. Finely dice cape gooseberries – a second or two of blending or using a food processor is helpful!
5. Combine all ingredients in a large, wide stainless steel pot.
6. Simmer fruit mixture (uncovered) over low-medium heat until sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally.
7. Prepare clean, empty jars  by boiling in a pot of water for 10 minutes before filling.
8. Meanwhile, bring jam to a boil and continue boiling uncovered until jam has set (reached gel stage):
a) Freezer Plate Method - while you are boiling the jam, place three small saucers into the freezer. When ready to test for gel stage, remove the jam pot from heat. Remove one saucer from the freezer and place a spoonful of jam onto the chilled surface. Within 30 seconds, gelled jam will thicken and develop a skin (and when you push a spoon through the jam, it will be thick and not runny when the saucer is angled). If the jam is still loose (runny), return jam to the stovetop and continue boiling for around 5 minutes or until ready to test with the second saucer.
TIP: Forgotten to put the plates into the freezer? Use a glass filled with iced water to chill several teaspoons to check the consistency instead.
b) Temperature Method: if the fruit, sugar, acidity and pectin in the jam mixture is balanced (ingredient ratios change with different fruits being used), jam will set (gel) at approximately 105°C (220°F). A sterilised stainless steel thermometer can be used to measure the temperature accurately. This method is not accurate with low-sugar jam, because low-sugar jams often have to be boiled for a longer period.
c) Sheeting Method: Mix jam and then lift the spoon above the pot and angle so the jam drips back into the pot. If the jam covers the spoon’s surface thickly and is not runny but thick jam that drops slowly, the jam has set.
9. Soak lids in hot water (not on heat) for at least 5 minutes before use.
10. Skim and discard foam from the surface of the jam – this foam is delicious on bread or frozen for baking, store foam in the refrigerator or freezer.
10. Pack hot jars with the hot jam to 0.5cm (1/4 inch) from the rim of each jar.
11. Using a non-metal utensil, remove any bubbles and add extra jam if required.
12. Wipe rims to remove any food residue.
13. Add warm lids and twist to secure.
14. Place sealed jars into a pot of boiling water and boil for the processing time stated below. Start the timer once the water comes to a full boil.
15. Turn off the heat source once the time is up. Remove jars from hot water after 5 more minutes. Cool jars overnight on a wood or fabric surface. Do not adjust lids during this time.
16. The next day, check jars have sealed before labelling and dating.
17. Store jars in a cool, dark and dry place for up to 12 months. Store mason jars without bands on the jars.
18. Refrigerate jars upon opening and consume jam within several months.
Processing Time for CAPE GOOSEBERRY JAM in a Boiling Water Bath

Jar Size
Altitude ≤ 6,000 feet
Altitude ≥ 6,000 feet
Hot Pack
≤ 500ml (pints)
10 minutes
15 minutes
Kaya Wanjoo. Food Preserving kaditj kalyakoorl moondang-ak kaaradj midi boodjar-ak nyininy, yakka wer waabiny, Noongar moort. Ngala kaditj baalap kalyakoorl nidja boodjar wer kep kaaradjiny, baalap moorditj nidja yaakiny-ak wer moorditj moort wer kaditj Birdiya wer yeyi.
Hello and Welcome. Food Preserving acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live, work and play, the Nyoongar people. We recognise their connection to the land and local waterways, their resilience and commitment to community and pay our respect to Elders past and present.
Copyright © 2024 Megan Radaich. All rights reserved.
Permission for sharing links from this website is given for non-commercial use only.  
Except as permitted under the Australian Copyright Act of 1968, no other part of this website may be reproduced or utilised in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the author. Disclaimer