If I tell you that we have a red currant bush in our garden that I didn’t even know existed (until it’s heavily laden branches were almost touching the ground), you might be able to tell what kind of gardener I am! I’m not one to look a gift horse in the mouth but it took me ages to decide what to do with them… On their own they can be eye-scrunchingly sour, but can be a nice partner to rich chocolate puds and the like. This time we decided to make a red currant jelly with them.
Having never made Jam or Jelly before, I was pleased to discover I live in a marmalade (the term for Jam over here strangely) obsessed country, and a bit like school uniforms, available in the shops before the summer holidays have even begun, there are supermarket shelves dedicated to preserving for the winter season right now. So this Haus Frau stocked right on up, and came away with several empty jars, and a funny straining cloth thing.
If you want to keep two small children quiet for at least 42 minutes, give them a bowl of red currants to destalk. They might look like they have committed some horrible blood thirsty crime the next day, but they enjoyed it all the same. It is not imperative that the stalks are removed by the way, as you will see from the recipe below, but it’s definitely an outdoor activity – trust me one this one.
As red currants naturally contain a lot of pectin, I based our jelly on Delia Smith’s recipe in the end as it seemed the most straight forward. I adapted it by using a 1000g berry to 1000g sugar ratio however, which still worked well. As she says, if you don’t touch it during the straining process, the jelly will be clear, but we had to give it a helping hand as the expensive cloth thing turned out to be rather too good at its job, and didn’t actually let any jelly through!
Our Jam Making Society declared the result a beautiful colour in any event, and said it even tastes nice. Label expertly designed by The 5 year old.
*This is a scheduled post as I am still in the beautiful, but very wet and rainy UK. Back shortly!