Saturday, June 26, 2010

Red Currant Jam/Jelly

I've always made this by removing the currants from the stem, adding water, boiling them for a bit and then sieving them to remove the seeds.  The worst part is getting the currants off the stems.  

I tried something new this time.  I froze the currants on the stems, then thawed them and pressed them in a large sieve.  The freeze/thaw broke down the skins just the way boiling did.  I figured that freezing them would not add any unwanted "stem flavor" as boiling them on the stems might.

Since the recipe called for adding 1 1/2 cups water to the currants when boiling them down, I added 1 cup water to the juice I got, figuring some might evaporate during the boiling.  So I used 5 1/2 cups currant juice, 1 cup water, and 4 1/2 cups sugar for the low-sugar sure-jell package. Made 9 jars.  I think the flavor is better and even though I didn't strain the juice through a cheesecloth, the result is pretty clear--closer to a jelly than a jam.