image credit: growyourown
Yesterday evening I picked up jostaberries. The jostaberry is a hybrid fruit, a cross between the black currant and the gooseberry. Like black currant, it has a specific taste, not loveable by all people. It is really easy to grow and can be propagated from wood cuttings, which I did some years ago. With a proper pruning, jostaberry gives lots of fruit. Usually, I remove diseased or weak branches before winter and in June, prune the young shoots to keep the bush in shape. The shrub may grow up to 2 m high.
It is to be planted in autumn or spring, 80 - 100 cm apart. Flowers form in April and berries are ripe by the end of June to beginning of July. It will appreciate watering when the conditions are dry.
The fruit contains lots of vitamin C, which is an important antioxidant.
The berries are almost black and shiny, somewhat smaller than gooseberry. It is edible cooked or row and excellent for making jelly or jam. I made two jars of jam using the recipe I found on Coolinarika, greatest gastronomy site in Croatia, where I too have my pages.
1.5 kg jostaberries
lemon zest (2 lemons)
25 g pectin powder
Cook shortly crushed jostaberries and mash it though the sieve to remove skin and little pips. Put it back into a cooking pot, add sugar, pectin and lemon zest and cook until thick. It usually takes 10 minutes. The original recipe includes some Limoncino, the lemon liqueur, but the lemon zest alone adds pretty good flavour.
PS. Yesterday was cloudy the whole day but, not a single drop of rain fell down! Next rainy day is announced for Monday. Well, we'll see...