Red currant jelly is so expensive in stores, that it’s no wonder it’s such a rare treat.
If you can get access to a bush, you will be able to create a rare home-canned treasure for your pantry.
The English like to serve red currant jelly with lamb. It’s also the basis of the English sauce known as Cumberland Sauce.
Each batch makes approximately 250 ml (1 cup / 8 oz) of red currant jelly. Double or triple the batches as desired.
See Red Currant Jelly for more information behind this traditional jelly.
Jar size choices: Either 125 ml (½ cup / 4 oz) OR quarter-litre (½ US pint / 250 ml / 8 oz)
Processing method: Water bath or steam canning
Yield: 1 x quarter-litre (½ US pint / 1 cup / 8 oz) jar
Headspace: 1 cm (¼ inch)
Processing time: Either size jar 10 minutes
Red Currant Jelly
Yield: 1 cup (250 ml / 8 oz)
Clean the work surface; wash hands.
Wash red currants. Remove leaves. There is no need to remove the stems (aka "ribs"); you can just leave them on. In fact, many feel that the stems provide added pectin for a good set.
Place red currants and water in non-reactive saucepan.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, covered, stirring occasionally and mashing gently every now and then until you have a pulp -- about 20 to 30 minutes. (Note: mash by hand, don't use a blender, food processor or anything mechanical as that will damage the pectin.)
Spoon into a jellybag or cloth to drain, suspended over a bowl. Let stand and drain for 2 to 4 hours, or overnight. When letting the juice drain, don't squeeze the bag or cloth to speed it up, or your jelly may well get cloudy.
This should yield somewhere in the range of 250 ml / 1 cup / 8 oz of juice per batch. If you don't get that, see notes below.
LIQUID SWEETENERS (HONEY, AGAVE, LIQUID STEVIA, ETC): See special directions below before proceeding further.
DRY SWEETENERS (SUGAR, SPLENDA, POWDERED STEVIA, ETC): Mix the pectin powder with the sugar in a small bowl or a measuring cup, set aside. Add the lemon juice and the calcium water to the pot. Bring pot contents to a boil, then add pectin mixture.
ALL SWEETENERS: When pot returns to a boil, let boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Skim surface scum off OR if desired strain again one last time through a jelly bag.
Ladle into 125 ml (4 oz) or quarter-litre (½ US pint / 8 oz) jars.
Leave 1 cm (¼ inch) headspace.
Debubble, adjust headspace if needed.
Wipe jar rims.
Put lids on.
Process in a water bath or steam canner.
Process jars for 10 minutes; increase time as needed for your altitude.
Liquid sweetener directions (agave, honey, liquid stevia, etc.)
- Bring the juice back to a boil, either in a pot or in a microwave. (Mind the surge when removing from microwave.)
- Put half of the heated juice into a blender, along with the pectin, and blend carefully (cover top of blender with a towel to prevent hot surge. (See recipe notes below if multiplying the batch.)
- Put the blender mixture in a pot.
- Put the rest of the juice in the blender, whiz it to pick up more of the pectin with the same towel safety precaution, and pour that into pot. (The two steps help to get most of the pectin out of the blender.)
- Bring pot to a boil. Add the lemon juice, calcium water, and the liquid sweetener.
- Bring back to a boil, follow canning directions above.
How to water bath process.
How to steam can.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
For stevia, Better Stevia liquid stevia was the stevia used.
Information about Pomona pectin.
More information about Sugar and Salt-Free Canning in general.
- SWEETENER: Instead of sugar, you could use ½ cup Splenda. OR 2 tablespoons of honey, OR 1 teaspoon of liquid stevia OR another sweetener au choix, with quantities determined by you.
- How much sweetener you need will depend on the tastes of your crowd and how sweet / tart that particular batch of red currants was.
- If you use sugar, you can actually technically reduce the sugar as desired — Pomona pectin does not depend on any sweetener to set.
- Because this is made with Pomona Pectin, you can double or triple the batch as desired will no ill-effect on the set of the jelly.
- Pomona pectin comes with a small pouch of powdered calcium for you to mix with water to make calcium water.
- The pectin powder will clump if you just mix it straight into the fruit; that’s why you mix it with something first.
- Use something like a potato masher to mash with, not a blender or a food processor: the blades will affect the set of the jelly.
- Short of juice? Put the drained fruit pulp into a microwave-safe jug. Stir in a little extra water. Mash again. Boil in microwave for a few minutes (or you can do this in a pot on the stove.) Then put back into jelly bag to drain.
- Don’t use a whisk to stir the jelly in the pot with, or it will create a lot of undesirable froth.
- No lemon juice is required as the acidity of red currants — average 2.8 pH — is high enough on its own to provide safety.
We also consulted Pomona directly to verify that we had followed the Pomona guidelines correctly, and were given the all clear. Pomona advised the reduction in calcium water, as currants have some calcium in them naturally. Pomona added that this recipe would work equally well with Black Currants.
Per 2 tablespoons:
- 95 calories, 12 mg sodium
Per 2 tablespoons:
- 52 calories, 13 mg sodium
Per 2 tablespoons:
- 36 calories, 12 mg sodium
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
* Better Stevia ® is a registered trademark of the NOW Foods Company.