Redcurrant Jelly recipe

I adore redcurrants, they are so versatile, they can be used in cheesecake, they make a fantastic fruit flan and in this case a terrific fruit jelly to either use on toast etc. or as an accompaniment to meat or fish dishes; it can also be added to sauces or placed on a cheese board.

For this recipe, multiples of the ingredients can be used, but this is a basic recipe for 3lbs of redcurrants, which is the normal amount I pick at one time (fig 1). Dependant on the ripeness of the fruit, it will yield about 1 ½lbs of fruit, which I think works out well, it's always nice to have half a jar to use and try immediately it has cooled.

Method

Wash and de-stalk the fruit, place in a pan with just a little water, about half a cup will do because redcurrants are quite juicy. (fig 2)

Simmer the fruit until it has become quite mushy and there is a noticeable separation of juice and pulp made up of skins and seeds. (Fig 3)

Over a large mixing bowl I place a colander which is lined with muslin and on top of that I position a fine metal sieve (plastic would do). (Fig 4)

Fig1

Fig2

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Fig4

 

I slowly pour the pulp from the pan into the sieve and leave to drain for a while. I then lift the sieve and stir the skin and seed residue to ensure all the liquid has been removed from the pulp, it can be stood over the pan to continue draining, I then discard the residue (I suppose you could put this out for the birds). If there is fluid still remaining in the muslin, I tie the corners and string it up to drain for an hour or two. (Fig 5)

Once your fluid is collected, measure the amount; from 3lbs, there should be about a pint or just over, return this fluid to the pan.

Using the ratio of 1lb of jam making sugar to 1pint of liquid, add the appropriate amount of sugar to the pan, bring to the boil whilst stirring all of the time and then cook at a rolling boil until setting point is reached – if you have a thermometer, this will be 105°C, which I maintain for 5 minutes or so, before testing the Jelly.

Test for setting by using a cold plate or saucer onto which a drop of the Jelly liquid is placed, after about 30 seconds the drop of Jelly should start to wrinkle when pushed with your finger. (fig 6 & 7)

Pulp

Fig5

Juice

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Once setting point is reached (Fig 8), fill your sterilised jars; in order to avoid shock cracking when the Jelly is placed in the jar sit the jars in hot water to ensure they are hot enough to take the Jelly ( Fig 9).

I put the lids on immediately so that they seal as the Jelly cools down (Fig 10), if you are using paper covers then you will need to wait for a skin to form on top of the Jelly first before putting the papers on top.  Label once cool (Fig 11).

If you are looking for a more piquant Jelly, reduce the sugar slightly and increase the cooking time.

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Fig11