|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 26g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||6%|
|Total Sugars 24g|
|Vitamin C 15mg||77%|
|*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.|
Red currants are a rare summer find. If you're lucky enough to have a bush at home, or your farmers' market carries these tiny and delicious berries when in season, try our recipe for a simple jelly and enjoy the sweet and tart flavor of this delicious fruit all year round. If the currants you find still have stems on, don't bother picking the fruit off as the stems themselves have pectin, which will further help the fruit to achieve a better gel. Plus, the stems add some tannins to the mix, which are the compounds at the root of the attractive astringent flavor in, for example, wine and coffee. If your currants are already picked, you'll still get a beautiful jelly.
Made with fruit, sugar, and water, this jelly doesn't need the addition of store-bought pectin, as the currants naturally possess a perfect combination of pectin and acidity, which ensures a good gel and texture without the need to add any stabilizer agent. The result is a delicious jelly with color as brilliant and bright as that of the fruit. We use measurements for a small-batch recipe as currants can be both difficult to find and expensive—unless you grow your own. But if you are blessed with an abundance of them, simply double the recipe.
This easy jelly is delicious serve alongside game, venison especially. But it pairs well with roast lamb, beef, and cornish hens. Use it on toast, scones, English muffins, or as an addition to your cheese plate. Before you start, make sure to have at hand jars that are suitable for sterilizing.
2 pounds ripe red currants
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cups sugar
Cook and Strain the Fruit
Gather the ingredients.
Wash the currants, and if the stems are on don't pick them. You'll get rid of stems and seeds later when you strain their juice.
Place the washed currants in a nonreactive pot—no cast iron unless it is enameled, and no aluminum. Add the water.
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; this will help the fruit release the juice.
Drain the red currants and their liquid overnight by pouring the mixture into either a dampened jelly bag or by lining a colander with butter muslin or several layers of cheesecloth. Pick your method and place a large bowl or pot underneath the bag or colander. Do not squeeze the jelly bag, muslin, or cheesecloth because that will result in a cloudy jelly.
Sterilize the Jars
Make and Can the Jelly
Once strained, measure the red currant juice. You should have about 2 1/2 cups.
Pour the measured juice into a large, nonreactive pot and add an equal amount of sugar—for 2 1/2 cups of juice, add 2 1/2 cups of sugar.
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.
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.
Ladle the hot, liquid jelly into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace.
Screw on canning lids.
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.
Once cooled, the jelly is ready to be used. Enjoy!
What to Use in Place of Currant Jelly?
Finding currant jelly is not always easy, as it's seasonal, but there are some brands that you can find online or in specialized stores. If you can't find currant jelly, concord grape jelly or apple jelly are good substitutes to use; simply add a dash of lemon juice for some tartness. Alternatively, make a low-sugar cranberry sauce and add lemon zest and lemon juice.