Red Currant Jelly

Red currant jelly recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 14 hrs
Cook: 30 mins
Canning Time: 5 mins
Total: 14 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
104 Calories
0g Fat
27g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 104
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 1g
Calcium 21mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Simply made with fruit, sugar, and water, this red currant jelly has both a sweet and tart taste. Currants naturally possess a perfect combination of pectin and acidity, which ensures a good gel without the need to add commercial pectin. The result is a delicious jelly with color as brilliant as that of the fruit.

This is a small-batch recipe because currants can be both difficult to find and expensive unless you grow your own. But if you are blessed with an abundance of them, by all means, double the recipe.

Red currant jelly is delicious on roast lamb or venison. It can also be used in lamb or venison casseroles.  


  • 2 pounds ripe red currants (still on their stems is fine)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for red currant jelly
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Wash the currants, but don't bother removing them from their stems. You'll get rid of the stems and seeds later when you strain their juice.

    Wash the currants
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Place the washed currants in a nonreactive pot (no cast iron unless it is enameled, and no aluminum). Add the water.

    Place currants in a nonreactive pot
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Cook, stirring, over medium-low heat until the red currants have released all of their juice, about 20 minutes. While they are cooking, gently crush the fruit with a potato masher or the bottom of a wine bottle to help release the juice.

    Cook and stir currants
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Drain the red currants and their liquid overnight. (You can do this through a dampened jelly bag or by lining a colander with butter muslin or several layers of cheesecloth.) Place whichever method you are using over a large bowl or pot (you can prop the colander up on long-handled wooden spoons placed over the bowl). Do not squeeze the jelly bag, muslin, or cheesecloth because that will result in a cloudy jelly. You want your final product to show off the jewel-like ruby red of the currants, right?

    Drain red currants
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. The next morning, measure the red currant juice. You should have about 2 1/2 cups.

    Measure the red currant juice
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Pour the measured juice into a large, nonreactive pot and add an equal amount of sugar. In other words, if you have 2 1/2 cups of juice, add 2 1/2 cups of sugar.

    Currant juice in pot
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. Sterilize your canning jars.

    Sterilize canning jars
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. While the jars are sterilizing, bring the red currant juice and sugar to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar. Continue to cook until the mixture reaches the gel point.

    Stir red currant juice
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  10. If the jelly is ready before the jars are sterilized, simply remove the jelly from the heat until the jars are ready. Reheat the jelly just back to a simmer before filling the jars.

    Remove red currant jelly from heat
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  11. Ladle the hot, liquid jelly into the sterilized jars leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace.

    Ladle jelly into sterile jars
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  12. Screw on canning lids.

    Screw on jar lids
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  13. Process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes. Keep in mind that the jelly will still be hot and liquid when it comes out of the boiling water bath. It will gel as it cools.

    Process canned red currant jelly in a boiling water bath
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  14. Once cooled, use it on toast in the morning, as an addition to your cheese plate, or with roasted meats. Enjoy.

    Red currant jelly
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


Substitutes for currant jelly: Concord grape jelly or apple jelly are good substitutes to use in baking recipes if you do not have currant jelly on hand or don't have time to make it. Add a dash of lemon juice for some tartness, or you can even use cranberry sauce.