Redcurrant Jelly Recipe

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A jelly for both sweet and savoury dishes

Last year I planted two redcurrant bushes with the idea of using their berries to make preserves. In the first year they produced about 600 grams 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 gorgeously red jelly.

Recipe for making homemade Redcurrant Jelly #jelly
Red currants ripening on the bush

Filled with natural Pectin

Redcurrants are tart and loaded with pectin so you really only need white sugar and water in order to preserve them. The best thing about Redcurrant jelly isn’t how easy it is to make but the fact that it’s a versatile condiment.

Though it tastes great on traditional baked goods such as toast, scones and cakes I prefer using it as an accompaniment for meat. It’s wonderful as a substitute for Lingonberry when serving up Swedish meatballs and can also take the place of cranberry sauce with roasted turkey and game.

Recipe for making homemade Redcurrant Jelly #jelly
A kilo of redcurrants, picked from the stems and rinsed

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 coloured jars lining your shelves.

Most 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.

Recipe for making homemade Redcurrant Jelly #jelly
Simmering the berries in water on the first day

Redcurrant Jelly Recipe

Makes four 225g (8oz) jars

1kg (2.2lb) Redcurrants
White sugar
500ml (17 fluid oz) Water

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.

Recipe for making homemade Redcurrant Jelly #jelly
Straining the berry juice through a jelly bag overnight

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.

Recipe for making homemade Redcurrant Jelly #jelly
Testing for set

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 sterilised jars* and sealing them with lids and/or wax paper. Stored like this the jelly will keep for about a year without any further processing.

* You can reuse old jam jars collected from the supermarket for your homemade jams and jellies. Clean them first with warm soapy water, rinse well, then place them in your oven at 130C for thirty minutes before you begin making the jelly. Turn the oven off and the jars will remain warm until you take them out to fill. The lids are best sterilised in a bowl filled with boiling water.

Recipe for making homemade Redcurrant Jelly #jelly

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  1. Hi, just found your site and recipes :)
    The jelly is the most glorious crystal clear ruby colour, the best I’ve ever made because I strained overnight as you advised rather than being tempted to rush.
    Thank you.
    PS I’m bookmarking this site so when rhubarb comes up next spring I can try the gin

  2. My son has just moved into a bungalow that has 3 red currant bushes and 1 black currant. By the time I realised there weren’t many currants left but I managed to pick enough red plus a few black to make up difference in weight. Put in freezer till I had time to use. Have just made 3 jars of lovely clear jelly which tastes amazing. Thank you for sharing such a simple recipe.?

  3. Followed your redcurrant jelly recipe to the letter and got wonderful results !!! A rich, clear jelly of just the right consistency. Truly fabulous -thank you for sharing :-)
    P.S. I’ve just sent our 4 teenagers out to pick more redcurrants, they’re not too happy about it either but after tasting the last batch I’d like to have as many pots as possible to see us through autumn/winter.

  4. Mary Richman says:

    Just picked 41\2 pounds of red currants to make my first lot of jelly, melted Brie and red current jelly panini, cannot wait.???

  5. Can I replace red for black currants?

  6. I love to make 'jelly'. I didn't make any redcurrant or black currant this year though…crops weren't the best so they tended to get eaten.

    I don't have a posh stand for my jelly bag though….just hang it from a hook under the kitchen!!

    1. I lined my vegetable steamer (holey bit) with my muslin And let it drain into the base ?

  7. This sounds good, I love red currant jelly (on quorn lamb steaks :)) xxx

  8. Tanya this is a lovely post. One small jar of ruby red preserve that you have grown yourself. Lovely. I have never made jelly but you have inspired me. My friend has a guava bush and she makes lovely jelly with that, I love to serve it with roast lamb. Best wishes. Jean

    1. Guava jelly…now that's interesting. It would be so wonderful to grow delicious tropical fruits like you lucky Aussies!

    2. A few years ago I meant some Aussies out for an evening walk; they said the most enjoyable part of their evening had been picking and eating fresh blackberries from the bushes growing around the playing field. They said that they are not allowed to grow them in Australia as they take over ~ brambles can grow 3inch in a day if the weather is good ~ and provide snakes with cover. Their delight in something I had taken completely for granted as always sayed with me.

      Last year I made my first jelly with some quince kindly given to me by a local freecycler, it is very nice. Red currant jelly sounds like it might go well with brie instead of cranberry in sandwiches

    1. It seems to have been a good year for currants so I'll bet you have more than a couple on your shelves – Yum!

  9. We don't have red currant bushes Tanya but we do have a good crop of raspberries, so I bought some red currants on our market and made some raspberry and redcurrant jam. I find raspberry jam too sweet, but the red
    currants just added an element of tartness which I found lovely.

    1. That sounds absolutely divine Pat…If I get any more currants off my bushes I may well try making some myself! Thanks for the tip :)