(cheap and quick)
By David Marks
Tangy, fruity and delicious just about describes blackcurrant jam. There are a couple of variables in making a blackcurrant jam – the ripeness of the fruit and the the variety used being the two key ones. We used Big Ben and picked only the fully ripe fruit.
Remove any stalks but don’t bother about the tufts at the lower end, they will disappear in the cooking. Rinse the blackcurrants before using them.
This recipe will make about 4 medium sized jars of blackcurrant jam. If sealed and stored in a cool, dark place the jam will last for at least one year. A shelf life of two or more years is quite possible.
| 500g / 1lb 2oz blackcurrants
|400g / 14.1oz sugar (standard, no pectin required)
|Juice from a lemon
|£6.00 (or free from your garden)
|Ingredients cost per jar
|32 mins plus cooling time
|NUTRITION PER TABLESPOON SERVING
- Wash the blackcurrants and remove any stalks
- Leave the little tufts at the base of the blackcurrant on
Place the blackcurrants into a pan and add 350 ml of water. Turn the heat to medium high, bring to the boil then turn the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes. Do not put a lid on the saucepan at any time of the cooking process.
Add the lemon juice and sprinkle in the sugar. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Taste the jam at this point and add a little more sugar if it is too tart. Different varieties of blackcurrant contain differing amounts of sugar.
Turn the heat up high to start the jam boiling. Keep it like that, at a rolling boil for 7 minutes, stirring every minute to stop any jam sticking to the base of the pan. With my electric hob I turn the heat up to maximum for this cooking phase.
Take the pan off the heat to cool down while you sterilise the jars. Stir the jam every couple of minutes while it is cooling because it can still stick to the bottom of the pan as it cools.
Fill the jars nearly to the top with jam and seal with the lid. Leave them to cool slowly which normally takes three to four hours. Label them and include the date.
We turn the jars upside down then back upright again several times during the cooling process to avoid all the fruit sinking to the bottom of the jar.