Red Currant Jelly

30 Jun

A real classic and deliciously tart jelly, wonderful on bread for breakfast or more traditionally as an accompaniment to roast lamb. I’ve waited years to harvest enough red currants to make red currant jelly, I love it, but it takes quite a lot of red currants to make a small amount. I started with cuttings from a red currant bush (Jonkheer van Tets) in 2006 and I’ve been waiting until the cuttings grew big enough to produce enough fruit. I now have 6 healthy bushes and they have all produced a decent harvest this year.

  • red currants
  • sugar
  • water

Wash the fruit and put it into a large pan with enough water to half cover the fruit and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, mashing every now and then for 30 minutes or until the fruit becomes pulp. Pour the pulp into a jelly bag and hang the bag over a bowl to catch the juice. Leave it hanging until the juice stops dripping, a minimum of 4 hours or overnight to extract all the juice. Don’t squeeze the bag or it can make the jelly cloudy. Measure the strained juice and return it to a clean jam pan with 200g of sugar for every 300ml of juice. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly until setting point is reached. Skim off any scum that forms and let the jelly settle for a minute or two before pouring into warm sterilised jars, seal immediately and label.
Cook’s Tip
To save time and effort the fruit can be boiled with all the stalks attached before it is strained but I do think you get a better tasting jelly if the fruit is cleaned from the stalks first. Use the times of a fork to run through each bunch and the fruit will fall off the stalks into the pan.
Recipe Source Home Preserving, 101 ways of preserving fruit, vegetables & herbs 1972. Most recipes including this one suggest more sugar but I prefer a tarter jelly, particularly if it is to be served with savory dishes so I use a lower ratio of sugar.
See how to make jam for tips on testing for set and techniques.

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