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Preparing Redcurrant jelly

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Preparing Redcurrant jelly

The redcurrant season is short, just a few weeks in midsummer, so don’t miss it. Redcurrants are rich in natural pectin and acid, making them a top-rate fruit for making jelly.

ngredients

  • 1kg/2lb 4oz redcurrants
  • granulated sugar

Method

  1. Lightly pick over the redcurrants, removing any leaves and fibrous stalks— no need to top and tail them or strip them off their stalks. Rinse them and put them in a large heavy-based pan with 500ml/18fl oz water. Cover and bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes until the currants are completely soft. Towards the end of the cooking time, press the currants with a potato masher or jam skimmer to break the skins and release the juice.

  2. Strain through a jelly bag suspended over a large bowl and leave to drip through for several hours or overnight. If you haven’t a jelly bag and stand you can double strain the mixture: first through a sieve set over a bowl, then line the sieve with a piece of fine muslin and pass it through the sieve again.

  3. Place two saucers in the fridge to test for setting point.

  4. Measure the juice, put it into the cleaned pan and bring to simmering point. When the juice is simmering, for every 1 litre/1¾ pints juice, add 650g/1lb 7oz sugar, adding a third at a time. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.

  5. Increase the heat to a fast boil for about 6 minutes until the jelly reaches setting point. You’ll know when the jelly is nearly ready because the loose, light coloured bubbles on the surface will have all but disappeared, the mixture will thicken and the boil will be slower. Remove the pan from the heat — otherwise the jelly will continue to cook – and drop a little of the hot jelly onto a cold saucer. Leave to cool for a few minutes, then lightly push your finger through to see if it forms a light gel that holds its shape and doesn’t just pool away. It should not be at all sticky. If the mixture remains runny, return the pan to the heat for a couple more minutes, then test again.

  6. Remove from the heat and let the mixture rest for several minutes. If a skin forms, carefully remove it using a slotted spoon or jam skimmer.

  7. Tip the mixture into a jug with a good pouring lip and carefully tap the jug on the work surface to knock out any air bubbles. Pour into the warm sterilised jars to fill to the brim and immediately seal with screwtop lids.

  8. Store in a cool, dark, dry place for up to a year. Once opened keep in the fridge and use within 3 months.

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