Sarah Potter Writes

Pursued by the Muses of prose, poetry, and music.

#Home Produce 01: Redcurrant Jelly

Some of you will know that my attempt to make gooseberry jam a few weeks ago ended in disaster. I burned the sugar and ended up with dark-brown jam that smelled like a bonfire. Mister Potter was not pleased, as he’d picked the fruit and had numerous arguments with thorns in the process.

It was my job to pick the first batch of redcurrants. This involved doing battle with bindweed-imprisoned nets for two hours; no blood drawn and 2 lbs of fruit yielded. Since then, Mister has picked another batch, which I’ve put in the freezer to make some jelly for Christmas.

So here’s how to make redcurrant jelly without burning it, even if (like me) you don’t own a preserving pan but use a large stainless steel saucepan instead…

  1. Match the weight of sugar to the weight of redcurrants — 2lb (900g) of each is a manageable quantity. Unrefined golden caster sugar or soft brown sugar are best.
  2. Wash the fruit in a colander and leave the stalks on (my son will kill me if he reads this, as he spent an hour removing the stalks, only for me to discover afterwards that this wasn’t necessary).
  3. Put the sugar in a warm place.
  4. Slowly bring the fruit to the boil in the pan, continuously pressing down the fruit with a spoon to squeeze out the juice. I use a wooden spoon. This takes about 10 minutes. If you get bored, read a book while stirring but don’t set fire to the pages.
  5. Take pan off the stove temporarily and add warmed sugar, stirring until totally absorbed.
  6. Turn on the oven (Gas Mark 3/Electric 170 C) ready for heating jars. Boil the tops of the jars in a saucepan of water for 10 minutes.
  7. Bring mixture up to rapid boil. Boil for 8 minutes (no need to keep it at maximum heat — just bubbling nicely, like a witch’s cauldron). Important to keep stirring throughout. Read some more of your book!
  8. Tip the mixture into a large nylon sieve and press the mixture through into a large bowl. If you want a totally clear jelly, you’ll need to line the sieve with a double layer of gauze, so the jelly drips through, but obviously this takes longer.
  9. Put your jars into the oven on a tray for 5 minutes.
  10. Pour jelly into warmed jars (with them removed from the oven, of course!).
  11. Cover jars with waxed discs, or put a piece of baking parchment on top of the jar, screw on the lid, then trim the parchment to look tidy.
  12. When the jars have cooled, store them in a cupboard until required. Once you’ve opened a jar, keep it in the fridge.

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17 thoughts on “#Home Produce 01: Redcurrant Jelly

  1. well done! I haven’t made jams or jellies since moving to Ecuador. You’ve reminded me how much I enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is something satisfying about the whole home produce thing. Out of interest, what varieties of fruit do you have in Ecaudor? And might any of them tempt you into jam or jelly making in the future?

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      • we have a lot of fruit I never heard of till moving here. The one I would likely use to make jam is mora – not exactly like Europe’s blackberry, but close.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Sarah,

    Well done, my accomplished jam making friend. Looks delicious.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,

      Thank you. It is delicious. I’ve made blackcurrant jam, too. Now my husband has an eagle eye on his stepson, in case he consumes the produce too quickly, before anyone else gets a look in!

      All best wishes,
      Sarah

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  3. Now that is a totally different process than Apple jelly! Most interesting. I shall be expecting a taste whenever I make it across the pond… (it may have to be a further year’s batch…😉)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dale, you sound serious about this trip across the pond! I’ve not tried Apple jelly. Have only made apple sauce. Do you use eating or cooking apples? I think you’re going to need to blog about this, as I’m looking at my apple tree now and thinking there’s some empty jars in my cupboard waiting to be filled!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am deadly serious. Tuscany was the first of many. I would like to cross over once per year but for now, will aim for every other one!

        As for the jelly… if you want to laugh, here is my very first YouTube video…;-)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I love the video. Is that a proper preserving pan that you’re using? And if I were to use one like it, would I be able to dispense with continuous stirring whilst all that boiling happens? LOL, I’m looking at you kitchen and thinking that I’m short of equipment!

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      • Ha Ha! Glad you enjoyed. I use a regular pot to make the jelly. I do have a pressure canner but use a simile pot for jellies as they only need to be processed 5 minutes. As for stirring, you can’t leave it too long without at least a swish!!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Well if you like berries you would love our home. We took out the lawn and planted berry bushes everywhere. The main job is to trim them so we can actually walk through our yard. 🙂 Cute pic at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! A whole lawn replaced by berry bushes. That must involve a lot of trimming. Glad you liked the picture 🙂 My son always takes the best photos of me, as he’s very patient. My husband gets impatient, which makes me go all tense and pull funny faces.

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  5. That looks good Sarah, I hope you enjoy it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I first dove into the fruit preserving world last fall and only just got a Maslin pan this summer — what a difference they make! I use a hot water bath for sealing my jars but I’ll give the oven approach a try next time. My last experiment was a delicious ginger-lemon-pear butter (don’t ask me who came up with fruit “butter”) and I think raspberry jam will be next. I let others do the picking — props to Mr. Potter!

    Liked by 1 person

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