Sweet & Simple Red Currant Jelly
Sometimes, you just get a craving for tart, slightly sweet jelly spread over a thick slice of buttered toast. When this urge hits, rather than reaching for a jar of strawberry jelly or raspberry jam, make red currant jelly!
One of the most delicious and underappreciated berries is red currants. Some people describe them as a mix between raspberries, cranberries, and rhubarb. Slightly sour and slightly sweet, these bright red berries are an excellent companion to a variety of dishes, from sweet desserts to savory delights.
Here’s a simple recipe for using red currants from your food forest to create delicious red currant jelly. It doesn’t take long to prepare and will store for up to three months, so you can have a taste of summer deep into the fall & winter months.
In this recipe, note that you only need three simple ingredients; fruit, sugar, and water. Also, since currants already contain the necessary combination of pectin and acidity, you don’t need to add any store-bought pectin as a stabilizer. Instead, the natural components will ensure that you end up with a proper gel-like consistency.
- 1 quart (900 grams) ripe red currants
- 2 ¼ cups (510 grams) sugar
- ¼ cup (59 milliliters) water
- Wash the currants & remove them from their stems.
- Place the currants and water in a large, non-reactive pot. Gently crush the currants with a potato masher.
- Add the sugar and cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugar and avoid it burning.
- Once the sugar is completely dissolved, raise the heat to high and boil the mixture, stirring often, until the jam reaches the gel consistency.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and skim off any foam that has formed on the surface.
- Carefully ladle the hot jam into washed and sterilized jars leaving ¼ to ½-inches of room from the lid. Screw on the canning lids.
- Allow the jars to fully cool & store them in the refrigerator (for up to 3 months).
Congratulations! You now have fresh, delicious, homemade jelly.
Red currant season typically lasts from July to early September. So it’s nearly time to start preparing if you’re planning to make a large batch of red currant jelly this summer.
If you prefer a sweeter preparation, spread it on scones, English muffins, bagels, toast, or cupcakes. You can also keep it in a small dish to accompany a cheese plate. In meals that include red currant jelly, the jelly is often served alongside game, such as venison. It also goes well with roast beef, lamb, or roasted chicken.
Are you interested in growing your own food forest? Check out our food forest landscape blueprints!
Tip: Finding ripe currants is not always easy, as they’re seasonal and location-based. If you can’t find them, you can make a similar recipe with cranberries and add a dash of lemon juice!