Friday, 29 July 2016

Red Currant Jelly

We have a large redcurrant bush in our garden and this year it has given us a bumper crop of berries, over two kilos and still going. So we have been thinking of extra things to make to preserve the berries into the winter.

Looking into the history of redcurrant jelly, I found that it was traditionally used in England as an accompaniment for Sunday roasts and Christmas dinner before the cranberry version was introduced from America and became the norm.

I decided to just make a small batch of redcurrant jelly, mostly to keep for the festive season and my husband has used the remaining berries for a batch of homemade wine, which I have to say smells amazing. The recipe I have used is a very simple one just using an equal amount of berries to sugar, the same as I use for all the jams and jellies I make.

First clean your berries, there is no need to de-stalk them as we will be straining the mixture through a jelly bag later. A sieve and a piece of muslin will do if you do not own a jelly bag. I have used 500 grams of berries and just covered them in the pan with water as you can see above.

Boil the berries for a few minutes until they soften using a masher or back of a spoon to help release the juices. Then allow to cool for a while before straining the mixture through the jelly bag to remove any stalks and pips. Try not to squeeze the jelly bag while it is straining as this may give you a cloudy jelly, some people prefer to leave this over night.

Once you have your strained mixture it should be a beautiful clear jewel colour, you can then measure how much fluid you have to see how much sugar you need to add.

** Remember**  if you have 500 ml of fluid you will need to add 500 grams of sugar ... keep this measurement like for like and you can't really go wrong. ( keep to either both metric or both imperial)

Return your fruit and sugar mixture to the pan and bring to a boil, stirring all the time, to get your setting point, this will probably only take about 5 to 10 minutes. You can check if your jelly has reached a setting point by placing a small drop onto a cold plate, after a couple of minutes this drop will wrinkle when you push your finger into it.

Then simply pour into your sterilised jars and allow to cool.... I will need to add a sticker to mine saying do not open until Christmas dinner or there may not be any left.

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