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Redcurrant Jelly

Redcurrant Jelly

We grow redcurrants in our Kitchen Garden and always look forward to the abundance of these small, tart berries each summer. Redcurrant jelly is a popular condiment and culinary ingredient, the jelly has a vibrant red colour and a distinct tangy flavour that balances sweetness.

Redcurrants, and consequently redcurrant jelly, are a good source of vitamin C, antioxidants, and dietary fibre. They also contain small amounts of minerals like potassium and manganese. The vitamin C content of redcurrants is particularly noteworthy, as it helps support the immune system and acts as an antioxidant.

Ingredients

650g Granulated sugar
1kg Redcurrants

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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Place two saucers in the fridge to test for setting point.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 screw top lids.
  9. Store in a cool, dark, dry place for up to a year. Once opened keep in the fridge and use within 3 months.

Serving Instructions

Redcurrant jelly is a versatile ingredient used in both sweet and savoury preparations. It is commonly served as an accompaniment to meats like lamb, game, and roast beef, as it complements their rich flavours. It can also be used as a glaze or added to sauces and gravies. In desserts, redcurrant jelly can be used as a filling for tarts, cakes and pastries, or as a topping for pancakes, ice cream, or yoghurt.

“Growing up at Doddington, eating seasonal produce from the Kitchen Garden and farm was the only thing I knew. I learnt to cook using what was on hand here as the seasons passed and my love of cooking and good food stems from this. I strongly believe that the fresh, good quality ingredients are the foundation of delicious food.