According to Ruth Drew in her posthumously published book, the Happy Housewife, Miss Crang was a fruit preservation instructress at Bristol University Research Station. This might sound rather far-fetched, but in fact I have a feeling that this research station was based at Long Ashton, just outside bristol, and when we moved to the west country in the 1960’s because my dad worked at the new Meat Research Institute in Langford, not far away, they had a lot of contact with the Long Ashton place, scientists researching the properties of different food stuffs; a sister establishment was the Food Research Institute in Norwich, of which my uncle was the director, and at Cambridge there was the Plant Breeding Institute…

Back to Miss Crang; apparently she stated that the ‘difference between green and red gooseberry jam is due partly to different varieties of fruit and partly to the method of cooking’… well, that seems to settle any arguments anyone might have!

Ruth drew gives two recipes – I can’t say that they are Miss Crang’s, but I can’t say they are not!

  • 4½ lbs topped and tailed gooseberries
  • 1½ pints water
  • 6 lbs sugar
  1. simmer fruit in water until soft
  2. add sugar
  3. boil till setting point is reached
  • 4 lbs gooseberries
  • 1½ pints water
  • 3 lbs sugar
  1. simmer fruit in water until soft
  2. add sugar
  3. boil till setting point is reached

The second recipe won’t keep as long as the first.

9 thoughts on “Miss Crang’s gooseberry jam

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