Jelly making won’t wait. When the currants are ripe/nearly ripe, they need to be harvested… or the birds will do the picking for you!
So, I recently made red currant jelly. It took me a total of three days: picking, de-stemming (is that a word?) and a full day of jelly making. F O U R batches of red currant jelly from one currant bush!!
Cleaned, washed and de-stemmed red currants. Crushing the currants help release their juice. The recipe says to simmer on low for 15-minutes. I use a food mill and then wire mesh strainer to remove all the seeds while measuring the juice per my recipe. [I don’t use a jelly bag.]
Bring the juice to a simmer, add the sugar [and pectin, optional] and stir. Bring to a full rolling boil for EXACTLY [it sounds very scientific] one minute and fill jelly jars immediately. Since I picked enough red currants for four batches of jelly, I ‘flavored’ each batch with a different fresh herb from my garden. I used rosemary, sage and lemon thyme. I have used mint in the past [and I would really like to try basil in the future]. My favorite??? No contest!! Rosemary!!! So, I made a double batch with rosemary.
Currants have a lot of natural pectin and sets-up immediately.
I hot pack all my jelly.
Viola!! We have red currant jelly! All in a day’s work… that is, three days work! YUM!