This quick and easy blackcurrant jelly explodes with delicious fruity flavour.
Made with just 2 ingredients it is an easy jelly and has no added pectin. It is a great alternative to jam especially for those who prefer a seedless jam. Try it spread on bread, toast or scones.
Ask my boys what their favourite jam is and it will be strawberry jam but blackcurrant jam has always been my favourite. I am just as partial to blackcurrant jelly which is basically a seedless variation of the jam.
Bursting with flavour I love it! So when I discovered a new quicker and even easier way to make it I cant; tell you how happy that made me.
Just 2 ingredients
To make blackcurrant jelly you just need two ingredients (not including water) blackcurrants and granulated sugar.
I generally like to use golden granulated sugar (which is less refined than white sugar) but white granulated sugar can also be used. Basically whichever you have in your cupboard.
Blackcurrants are rich in pectin so you do not have to use special jam sugars or add pectin when making this preserve.
Quick and Easy
One of the joys of making blackcurrant jelly as opposed to jam is there is not any need to strip them from the stems. They can go in with the blackcurrants as they will be strained out later. simply rinse the fruit and shake dry then place them in a preserving pan or very large saucepan.
The fruit is then cooked before straining the juice.
Preserving pans have sloped sides which makes bring the preserve to a rolling boil easier. They are worth buying if you make a lot of preserves.
If you are using a saucepan remember the jam will rise high up the sides when it boils so should not be filled more than ⅓ to ½ full.
No jelly bag or long straining required
While making most fruit jellies is straightforward, they are not always quick. First, the fruit is cooked and then juice needs to be strained from the fruit pulp. Usually by straining through a jelly bag which can take several hours.
Until a few years back I used to make my blackcurrant jelly the same way waiting patiently for the juice from the cooked fruit to drip through the jelly bag. Until a friend told me they just pushed the fruits through a fine sieve.
If you were to do this when making my apple jelly you would end up with a cloudy rather than the desired clear jelly. But as my friend pointed out blackcurrant is such a dense dark colour it doesn't need to be completely clear.
So, I gave it a go, and she is quite right! Unless you hold the jar up to the light you cannot tell the difference and even then it's only just noticeable.
A bigger yield
Once you have tried it there's no going back to the old method. And this method has a big advantage. You get a much bigger yield from the same amount of fruit with no loss of flavour.
This time I had such a big crop of blackcurrants, I did a side by side comparison. For the traditional method, I got a yield of 750g (1 lb 10oz) and with this quick and easy method 1250g (2lb 12oz). That's almost double so it really is a win, win!
Boiling the jelly
After straining the fruit juice it is placed in a preserving pan or very large saucepan. The sugar is added heating gently until the sugar has dissolved.
Next, it is brought to a rolling boil and the jelly is boiled until the setting point is reached.
I use a thermometer when making jams and jellies, it is probably the most accurate and easiest way to check the jam has reached the setting point 104-105°C ( 219-221 °F).
If you do not have a thermometer boil for about 10 minutes, Then remove it from the heat and test for a set. Returning to the heat to boil a little longer if required.
How to test for a set
- Before you start making your jam or preserve, place a couple of plates in the fridge to chill.
- When you are ready to test for set, remove the pan from the heat. Drop a little of the preserve onto a chilled plate and return to the fridge for about 2 minutes. Gently push your finger into the mixture and see if it mounds and wrinkles. If so, the setting point has been reached.
- If not, return the mixture to the boil for few more minutes and retest. Repeat again as necessary until setting point is reached.
See my preserving tips for more jam making hints and tips.
Once setting point is reached
Use a straining spoon to remove any scum that has formed during boiling. Then pour into hot sterilised jars. Cover the surface with a wax jam disc and seal.
Allow to cool completely then label and store in a cool dark place.
How to sterilise jam jars
- Wash the jars in warm soapy water and rinse well. Do not dry.
- Place the wet jars on a tray, heat the oven to 140℃ (120℃ fan)/275°F /gas 1 and put the jars in the oven to dry completely.
- Sterilise the lids (and rubber rings if using Kilner style jars) in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes.
I always sterilise one or two more jars than I think I will need, to ensure I have enough.
How to make blackcurrant jelly step by step
What to serve blackcurrant jelly with
Not only is it a delicious alternative to jam to spread on bread, as well as on scones, croissants, pancakes etc. It also makes a great filling for cakes.
It can also be used to make a glaze for dark fruits on flans and tarts, simply warm gently with a little water before brushing on.
And why not try it with some cheese and crackers. It goes very well with soft fresh cheeses.
How long will the jelly keep?
The blackcurrant jelly will keep for at least 1 year if stored in sealed jars in a cool dry place. Once opened store in the refrigerator.
Quick and easy blackcurrant jelly
- 1 kg (2¼ lb) blackcurrants
- 800 ml (1¼ pt) water
- about 750 g (1lb 10oz) golden granulated sugar (1lb 10oz) golden granulated sugar
- Wash 1 kg ( 2¼ lb) blackcurrants and place in a large saucepan or preserving pan and add 800ml (1¼ pt) water. There is no need to strip the blackcurrants from the stems. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
- Place a couple of saucers into the fridge.
- Strain the blackcurrants through a fine sieve and press down well with the back of a spoon to remove as much juice as possible. Discard the fruit pulp.
- Measure the juice obtained and return to the preserving pan. Add 75g (3oz) of sugar for each 100 ml (3½ floz) of juice.
- Heat gently stirring until the sugar dissolves, then increase the heat and bring to a rolling boil. Boil for 10 to 12 minutes or until the temperature reaches 104-105°C ( 219-221 °F).
- Remove from the heat and test for a set. A small amount dropped onto the cold saucers and left for a minute or two should wrinkle when pushed with your finger tip.
- Return to the heat and boil for another 1 or 2 minutes if required before testing again.
- Pour the jelly into sterlised jars, seal and label.
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