RED CURRANT JELLY

 

It is that time of year again when the soft fruit is at it’s best… My two little red currant canes in the back garden have been loaded with fruit this season, so, once again I get my trusted, rather battered old preserving pan out of the larder, washed and ready for currants!

However before I go full-on into my jelly making, please let me share with you the glory of these little bright gems with these pre-batch snaps.

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As you can clearly see the sprigs are heavy with fruit…

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Ripe and juicy!

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Perfect little sprig!

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This is my huge haul exactly as I harvested them from the canes, few leaves, twigglets and a few green-unripe ones, all precious for a good blend of flavour and pectin content.

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I had a happy hour sitting on the back step, in the sunshine  picking the currants from the little stalks…

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What a lovely colourful picture!

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… and all the stalks ready for my compost bin…

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Washed and already in the pan.  I never bother to weigh the fruit at this stage if I am making jelly, as it’s the collected juice amount that matters for ratio of sugar required. I barely cover the fruit with water, bring to a simmering point, when the fruit is hot and popping, I bash the currants around to release all the juice, a wooden spoon squashing them against the side of the pan works well. This takes about 20/30 mins…

Then strain through a jelly bag or fine muslin over night …. ooooOOops, sorrree forgot to take a photo of this stage…

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Next day measure juice back into the washed up preserving pan, for each pint add one pound of sugar.  Normally I would use good old plain and simple ordinary granulated sugar, however as most of the fruit was very ripe (maybe I should have picked it early) I was concerned that I might not have a good balance of “ever-so-slightly” unripe fruit which you do need for good pectic value.  I invested in this sugar which specifically says good for currants!

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Sterilise the jars by pouring boiling water in them, then pop them on a baking tray in the oven (low heat) to dry and keep warm.  Boil up the juice/sugar for about 30 mins, test setting consistency, then pour into warm jars, seal with wax disc and cellophane while jelly is still hot…

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I wanted my finished presentation to be jolly and bright so chose this red fabric with tiny white pin dot.  Cut circles from the fabric,  make a bunch of little labels (see my past blog on how to make them if you want!) and look out my bakers/butchers twine.

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I do kinda love RED!  Popped my little stash into my mug cabinet to take this photo… I made TEN jars of jelly from my harvest this year, two jars are missing from this picture as I was sooOOoo excited I gave one to each of my neighbour’s before I realised I hadn’t finished the photo shoot!

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The jelly is rich and dark, full of flavour and because of the different sugar a firm consistency … perfect for toast or scones!

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Sweet!

Hope you enjoy having a little read of this current-currant blog, as much as I have enjoyed making, I will keep a couple of jars for those moments when you just need some thing sweet and fruity, the other jars I will give to my friends…

Jay xxx

Little extra snippet for you from Snoo   “… ants stretch when they wake up!…”

(I love the thought of these little creatures doing a big yawn, back stretch and say mornin’ to their fellow ants!)

 

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