Currant Jelly

For the past month, my post for Jostaberry Jam has been getting a ton of traffic, and it seems like it’s mainly from the UK. Are they having an amazing jostaberry year?? Did everyone get a pandemic jostaberry bush? The ironic thing is that my many jostaberry plants yielded exactly zero berries this year. I’m glad that so many others are apparently reaping them.

Though I already mentioned my fruit losses yesterday, the one thing that was not a loss this year was the currants. You may have noticed I’ve already written a post about them. I picked three pounds off of just two plants, which gave me three cups of juice to work with. To make currant juice, you want to simmer them with a cup of water for about thirty minutes, pressing gently on the berries to make them pop. Then strain them overnight, and you’ll be left with a garnet liquid to work with.

Two cups were used to make jelly by adding an equal amount (by volume) of sugar and boiling it. It’s second nature to me now, but if you need a recipe you can check out Food in Jars’ post on currant jelly. It’s amazing how quickly this liquid sets up into a firm jelly. I love how the light glints in the bottom of the jars when I pass by them. The last cup of liquid was used to thicken a jam of sweet cherries and blueberries. It came out amazingly—a luscious dark purple with lots of texture. Cherries and blueberries are delicious mixed together, and the high pectin content of early season blueberries and tart currant juice help make an amazing soft set jam.

  1. If there’s still fruit to harvest, stash a cup or two in the freezer. Black currant and apple makes a wonderful jam, and I expect red currant would be just as delicious.

    1. I never seem to have excess, but maybe next year. I’ve propagated a few more plants. How do you make your black currant and apple jam? Do you dice the apple?

  2. Yes, I dice the apple. My starting point is a NY Times recipe for apple jam that was published a couple of years ago. The balance I like is 1 part currant to 2 parts apple. I start with 1/2 c. of sugar per pound of fruit, but that can be adjusted depending on the sweetness of the apples.

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