If you frequent my recipes page, you will probably know that I always have a little "trick of my sleeve" - or..a little surprise in my freezer. This time it is the rare and beautiful Red Currant. I saw these at the Whitehall Ferry Terminal greenmarket in the summer and immediate bought a whole case, which was probably pretty silly, since I was going on vacation the very next day. So into the freezer they went. Red currants are generally easy to freeze - they hold their shape and texture well - you can even thaw them out and they are almost like fresh ones. Since I had about a gallon of these ruby wonders in there, and I sorely needed the freezer space, I decided it was time to preserve them in a different way - JAM! This recipe makes about 3 pints.
6 half-pint canning jars with lids and rings
1 large stock pot
1 large saucepan
1 jar lifter
1 canning funnel
1 pair tongs
2 kitchen towels
8 cups of red currants
5 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
Prepare the jars
Wash your jars, lids rings with hot soapy water.
Place jars in a large stockpot and cover with water 1 inch over the rims.
Bring the water to a boil to sterilize the jars and boil for 5-7 minutes. Turn off the heat and put the lids and rings into the hot water. Let the jars, lids and rings sit in the hot bath while you prepare the jam
Make the jam
Place a small plate in the freezer for the freezer test.
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and once the sugar has dissolved, pass the liquid through a sieve to remove the seeds. ( I actually skipped this step because I like the seeds)
Return the berry mixture to the sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Turn down the heat to medium and continue to boil for 15-20 minutes for until the jam sets up when dripped onto the frozen plate.
Pour the jam into clean jars and close with lids and rings. Bring the water in the stockpot back to a boil and carefully return the jars of jam to the stock pot and for 15 minutes.
Remove the jam from the stockpot onto a dry kitchen towel. As the jam cools, you should listen for the telltale popping sound of the lids sealing. Allow to cool completely before storing in a cool, dark place. If you are suspicious that one of your jars didn't seal, then just store it in the fridge instead of the cupboard.