Red Currants are native to Europe and belong to the gooseberry family. They are in season after the summer equinox. Some of the recipes to make with red currants are jams and jellys. This easy red currant jelly recipe is tart in taste and spreads easily on toast or great on ice creams.
I have already shared a couple of red currant jam recipes in this site, so not a jam this year but a jelly. As I get more proficient in preserving fruits and harvests, I keep learning more new methods. Homemade Jams and jellys make a great addition to Christmas baskets. Personally, I am not much of a jam eater, but love to preserve our garden harvest.
Harvesting Red Currants
Red currants are perrenials. The bush also grows with the age. Our Red currant bush has doubled in size since we planted them in 2017. Therefore, we had a good harvest this year.
Red currants start ripening after June 24, which also marks the beginning of summer. Harvest the berries when they turn red, but get to the berries before the birds do.
Last year, we were slightly late in harvesting because we were waiting for the berries to ripen to a blood red colour. But the birds got to about 25% of the berries, hence our harvest was not so big, but enough to get a few jars which lasted till spring this year.
Lets dive into this easy red currant jelly recipe.
If you want to skip reading, you can watch the video to the recipe. Scroll down for a printable recipe card.
Special tools you may need
Tips to make Red Currant Jelly
- Red currants are high in pectin content, so normal castor sugar is sufficient.
- Sterilise and keep the jam jars dry before filling.
- Before filling the jelly, place the jars on a wooden board to avoid the jars from cracking.
- Set a plate in the freezer for testing the consistency.
How to make Red Currant Jelly
1 Kg of Redcurrants after washing with the stalks
900 gm of caster sugar
1 tsp of lemon juice ( or 1/2 tsp of citric acid)
200 ml of water
- Mix all the ingredients into a heavy bottom pot and set it on medium heat. After the sugar has melted the fruit will start cooking.
- Cook the berries till they are soft and mushy. Mash them so you get the most from the berries.
- Strain the juice from the berries and stalks and cook for about 10 min.
- How to test if its ready for bottling? Add a few drops to a frozen plate and tilt the plate slightly.
- Repeat the process till it reaches a jelly like consistency. Now its ready for bottling. Don’t cook the jelly too long due to the high pectin content in red currants.
- Switch off the heat. And set all the sterilized jars on a tea towel or a wooden board. This will help in preventing the jam jars from cracking while filling the hot jam.
- Fill the jars to the brim leaving 1 cm and close the lid tightly.
- Store in a cool and dry place. Once you open the jar, store in the refrigerator.
How long can you store the Red Currant jelly
If your bottle the jelly properly, the jars last a year or more. Once you open a jar, store the jelly jar in the refridgerator.
I usually store the jars in the cool cellar unless I open them.
Ideas on using Red Currant Jelly
Red Currants have a tart taste and can be made into sauces too.
A couple of spoons of red currant jelly can be mixed into a low pectin fruit like strawberry to thicken the jam faster.
Red currant jelly can be used as a topping on ice creams. These are some of the ideas to try on.
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