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How to make red currant jelly with fresh berries. This is a great recipe for beginners and it can be used in both sweet and savory dishes
Last year I planted two redcurrant bushes with the idea of using their berries to make preserves. In the first year they produced just over a pound of fruit and then more than double that the second year. They’re a long lived bush so my two will continue to grow and produce more and more berries each year. Though you might have seen redcurrants on fancy fruit platters and some might even like eating them fresh, the most popular way to prepare them is in a clear and ruby hued redcurrant jelly.
Redcurrant jelly is an extremely easy preserve to make and versatile in the kitchen. The berries have enough natural pectin in them, so you don’t have to worry about whether the jelly will set or not. The finished jelly is a beauty to behold and tastes great on toast, scones, or even Swedish meatballs. In fact, it’s a wonderful substitute for lingonberry jelly or cranberry sauce.
An Easy Recipe for Beginners
If you haven’t made jelly before then I’d really recommend it as a first type of preserve. It’s relatively easy and satisfying to see all of the clear and brightly colored jars lining your shelves. Many people will have all the equipment they need in their kitchen already and both the jars and the jelly bag can be found at your local kitchen supply shop.
More Beginner Preserves Recipes
Redcurrant Jelly Recipe
This redcurrant jelly recipe involves cooking the berries with water and straining them to create a clear juice. You then measure that juice and add enough sugar for the amount before bringing the jelly to a setting point. Makes four 225g (8oz) jars
1kg (2.2lb) Redcurrants
500ml (17 fluid oz) Water
Instructions for Making Redcurrant Jelly
1. Rinse the berries and place them in a sauce pan with the water. Bring the pot to a simmer and keep it there until the berries are extremely soft and mushy – it will take around half an hour. Though not required, I find it helps to also squish the berries with a potato masher towards the end.
2. Pour the berries and juice into a jelly bag and allow the liquid to filter through the bag for at least six to eight hours. It helps to just do this step overnight so you’re not tempted to squeeze the bag. Squeezing it will likely result in your jelly being cloudy rather than clear.
3. The next day, measure the juice that has strained through the bag and for every 600ml (20 fluid oz) you’ll want to measure and set aside 450g (16 oz) of sugar.
4. Bring the juice to a boil then add the sugar. Stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved and then allow the mixture to continue boiling for around 10 minutes or until the setting point has been reached. The best way to check for set is to dribble some of the liquid onto a plate you’ve kept very cold in the freezer. Allow the drop to cool then push at it with your finger. If it wrinkles up then it’s ready.
5. Remove the jelly from the stove top and let it sit for a minute so that a skin will form on the surface. With a spoon, skim this skin and any foam off the top before pouring the liquid into warm sterilized jars and sealing them with lids. I highly recommend water bathing them after as well since it will help with the seal and ensure no microbes will survive inside. Once made, this jelly will keep for about a year.