I got massively distracted the other day from a day of things I really needed to do. You may have spotted me talking about this on Instagram. Instead of getting on with some work, the redcurrants caught my eye in the freezer and impulsively I decided to make a batch of currant jelly. I have called this a redcurrant jelly recipe, but actually I also threw some blackcurrants in as there weren’t enough of those to make blackcurrant jelly.
We love it, and using some of the crop has left space in the freezer for all the other produce that is hopefully on its way. You could easily make this with just black, red or even white currants.
We have been hard at work growing fruit and vegetables again this year. The red and blackcurrants are very little work. We planted them a few years ago and they have really come into their own this summer. The red are the most prolific, mainly I think because the birds prefer the blackcurrants!
We don’t mind sharing a little with the wildlife and anyway have plenty.
I used jam sugar with added pectin. However, these currants (certainly the black and red versions anyway) are naturally quite high in pectin, so you don’t need to. I just happened to have a couple of packets that needed using.
I used to own a really good jelly strainer, but it has disappeared. Probably been put somewhere safe. So I resorted to using a fabric strainer, which is made with a kind of knitted cloth, similar to a dish cloth. It wasn’t ideal, but I managed to secure it to an upturned chair to strain the currants.
I am going to invest in a better one like this one on Amazon for the next time I make jelly.
Currants are rich in vitamin C, so a big blob of this jewel coloured jelly on your toast in the morning will give you a little vitamin C zing. It is also nice served with meats such as lamb. Most of the time we use it just like jam and it disappears in no time.
Making your own preserves is a good way of reusing old jam pots and saving on the recycling too. I keep a stash of them in the shed for this very purpose.
Make sure you wash and sterilise your jars thoroughly before you use them. I tend to steep them in boiling water and then put them in the oven for a while, but there are some other methods that you can use here.
If you want to make even more jelly from your fruit, you can add 2 pints of the water, boil and strain as per the instructions, then add another pint to the fruit and boil for a further 20-25 minutes or so. Over the years I have found the redcurrant jelly recipe I prefer though, which is the one below.
Redcurrant Jelly Recipe
6lb (275 kg redcurrants
2.5 pints (1.4 litres) water
Sugar (around 3lbs/1.4 kg) – I used jam sugar with added pectin to ensure a good set
You will also need around 8 sterilised jars, grease proof jam covers and either plastic covers or the original lids.
Don’t bother taking the currants off the stalks. It’s really not necessary and, in fact, I freeze mine stalks and all. My jelly was made with frozen fruit as it does just as well as fresh. Give it a quick wash if you are using fresh. Place in a large pan, preferably a wide preserving one like this one from Amazon.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for around half an hour to an hour. The fruit should be pulpy by then and you can break it up a little more with a spoon.
Strain through your jelly bag. I usually go away for a couple of hours or even leave it overnight. When you come to make your jelly, measure the juice so that you can work out how much sugar you need. As a general rule, I use 1lb/500g of sugar per pint of juice.
Bring the juice only to the boil, then add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved. Whilst this is happening, place a small bowl and teaspoon in the freezer – more on this in a minute!
Bring the jelly to a rolling boil and boil for about 15-20 minutes. Scoop off the scum that develops, but only do this once or twice so that you don’t lose too much of your jelly. Take your cold teaspoon and place a small amount of jelly onto the cold bowl. Put it in the fridge and check five minutes on to see if it has gone gloopy. You might find it wrinkles slightly when pressed. If you think it needs a little longer give it another 5 or 10 minutes tops. You don’t want to over boil it and ruin the flavour.
When you think it is starting to thicken turn off the heat and scoop out any remaining scum. Use a funnel to pour the hot jelly into your warm jars. Place a paper disc on each and leave to set properly – this will take several hours so don’t panic if it is still really soft a couple of hours later.
You can either put the lids on immediately or wait until your jelly is cold. If you do the latter, make sure the waxed disc fully covers the top and has no air bubbles.
This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click through and make a purchase I will earn a small commission. Thanks.