Saturday, 31 May 2014

Preparing blackcurrants, redcurrants and white currants.

The currants arrive on branching stalks. The most efficient way (in theory at least) to detach them from their threads is to take hold of the top of a thread of them, and dangle it over a large bowl or colander. Then with the other hand you run a fork down the thread from top to bottom and it pops the currants off the stalks.
Some will still have their tiny stalks attached, having popped off the main stem more easily than off their own stalk. These need to be fished out again and have the process repeated, either by fingers or with the fork.
Then run the colander under a tap to wash off dust and dirt and you're all set for the pan.

JAM: Blackcurrant, Damson or Gooseberry


2 1/4- 2 1/2 lbs prepared fruit
3 lbs granulated sugar 
1-2 pints of water


  1. Warm enough clean jars for about 5 lbs of jam (put them in a low heat oven).
  2. Put the fruit and water in the large preserving pan and simmer gently until the fruit is soft (about 30 minutes). Add a little water to prevent the fruit from burning if necessary.
  3. Stir in the sugar.
  4. When the sugar has dissolved, boil the jam hard, but not so hard that it boils over.
  5. Test for setting after about ten minutes of fast boiling, and/or use a jam thermometer.
  6. When setting point is reached, draw it off the heat to a safe place for pouring into jars.
  7. Use a warm jug to scoop jam out of the pan and pour into the pots. Screw on the lids firmly before the jam is cold.
  8. Clean the sticky off the outside of the jars with a hot wet cloth, and then label the jars when cool and dry.