It’s not been a great year for growing, with plants confused by a very early faux-summer followed by months of endless rain and cold. But we did enjoy harvesting summer fruit from our allotment plot in mid July, bringing home tubs of redcurrants, blackcurrants, gooseberries and raspberries.
I’m not a huge fan of redcurrants but my sister insists on them for Christmas day, so I decided to make her some redcurrant and port jelly for this year’s Christmas feasting.
Easy Redcurrant & Port Jelly
400 grams redcurrants
400 grams sugar (I used half white + half light muscovado, as that’s what I had in stock)
Approximately 20 ml port (added to 250 ml jelly)
Wash redcurrants, taking care not to crush, and drain well. There’s no need to remove the stalks (though I found it therapeutic to do so as I was harvesting them).
Place redcurrants and sugar into a large pan, with a jam thermometer, if you have one.
Bring to the boil on a medium to high heat.
Once the sugar has fully dissolved and the currants start to soften, use a wooden spoon or potato masher to break the currants open and mash them into the liquid.
Boil until the mixture reaches 104 °C.
(If you don’t have a jam thermometer, test for a set by either dropping some jam onto a freezer-chilled plate to see if it sets enough to wrinkle to the touch after a few seconds or by lifting a wooden spoon out of the liquid and seeing whether the drops run together and fall off cleanly, which means it’s not yet reached setting point, or coagulate, form thick triangles, and fall off thickly).
Place a clean muslin cloth into a sieve, over a heat-resistant jug and pour the jam into the cloth.
Allow the liquid to drip through. As I am keener on maximum yield than a crystal clear jelly, I twist and squeeze the cloth to force every last drop of liquid through.
Add port and mix well.
Pour the finished jelly into sterilised jars whilst both the liquid and the jars are still hot, and seal immediately with sterilised lids.
Sheepish postscript: Sister has gently pointed out that I have confused redcurrants and cranberries, it being the latter she always has for Christmas. But she is looking forward to trying my jelly this year anyway! Oops!