Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Red Currant Jelly

First off I must apologise for the quality of some of my picture. My camera died last week and it's been sent away for repair so I'm snapping away on my phone and missing my camera terribly - I hadn't realised how much I used it until it was gone........

So ...... back to the recipe - red currant jelly - last weekend I decided that it was high time to sort the freezer out. We were finding it very hard to a) cram anything else into it; b) find any thing and c) I was getting complaints that the frozen bread was all squished up! so it was time....... well, the things I found .....something unidentifiable - it may have been liver!, loads of loose frozen peas, sprouts and plums from burst bags at the bottom, and bags and bags of frozen fruit especially red currents. I decided that I was never, ever going to make pies or puddings with them and as they had been frozen on the stalks with some leaves still attached jam would really be hard work, so I decided a jelly was the only way to go.....

I dumped all the frozen fruit into a preserving pan - because it was frozen I only added a little water - about half a cup. I'd found a few white currants so I threw those in as well.

I place the pan over a low heat, let the currants defrost and then release their juices.

Once I was your happy that the fruit has burst and all the juice has been release it's was time to strain out all the bits - and in my case all the stalks and leaves - as well as the fruit and pips.

I poured all the fruit into a large bowl, cleaned out the preserving pan and then covered the pan with a large sheet of muslin. A big elastic band around the rim kept it in place, so it would act as a large sieve for the fruit.

Gently ladle the fruit onto the muslin - don't pour it all on at once - give it time for the liquid to run through before ladling on some more.

Once you have all the fruit on the muslin and the majority of the liquid strained and in the pan, Grab the edges of the muslin and loop them together to form a bag.

Now you need to suspend the bag over the pan for about 12 hours or overnight to get all the lovely juices and flavours from your fruit. You can either suspend the bag via a broom and a couple of chairs, or you can suspend it from a hook in the ceiling as I did!

After the 12 hours you will end up with a rich fruit juice. Now measure our your liquid and to every 600ml and 450g sugar.

Place the sugar and the juice back into your pan and over a medium heat stir until all the sugar has dissolved. A fine scum will appear - it's fine just leave it. Now increase the heat and bring the pan to a boil. Let it boil for about 8 minutes and then start testing it. If you have a jam thermometer you want 140C/220F or, if your like me, grab a cold plate and place a blob of the liquid on it. Pop the plate in the fridge and after a minute, if it wrinkles when you push your finger through it - it's done. Remember to remove the pan from the heat when you do this.

Once your happy your jelly is ready, pour into sterilised jars pop the lids on and allow to cool.

Then spread thickly on to hot buttered crumpets or toast......

Have a great day
Love Lizx