Blackcurrants are an alluring and delicious summer fruit, they are rich in pectin, their powerful acidic and aromatic flavour makes them perfect for jam making. So not only do they make a gorgeous deep purple coloured jam bursting with flavour, they set easily too!
I love to add fresh herbs and spices to compliment the flavour of all different types of seasonal fruit when making jam, not for the sake of making it sound a bit fancy, its because they can transform a great jam into an unforgettable one. Try adding a bit of fragrant basil to a strawberry jam, aniseed flavoured tarragon with raspberries and refreshing fresh mint with gooseberries and also blackcurrants as in this recipe.
- 1kg blackcurrants, rinsed, stems removed
- 500ml water
- 1kg granulated sugar
- 8-10 leafy stems of fresh mint
- Put the blackcurrants and fresh mint into a preserving pan with the water and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes. The fruit should be nice and soft but not mushy.
- Stir in the sugar until dissolved, turn up the heat and bring the jam up to a full rolling boil for 5 minutes. Blackcurrants set easily so don't be tempted to over boil or you will end up with a tough set and the jam will have an overcooked flavour.
- Take off the heat, stir and test for setting point.
- Methods to use for testing for setting point can be found see in my rhubarb, lemon balm and mint jelly recipe method.
- Allow the jam to cool slightly, and ladle into sterilised jam jars (pulling out the leafy stems of the mint as you go or just let them drop into the jars as I do), or pour the jam into a large plastic measuring jug and then tip the jam through a jam funnel into the jam jars.
- Seal and label.
Mint freshly picked from the garden and the stalks removed from the blackcurrants.
Adding the sugar to the preserving pan after the fruit has been gently simmered and softened helps to prevent the skins of the blackcurrant’s from becoming tough in the jam.
Blackcurrant jam is definitely one of my favourites, its so easy to make and has that hard to beat deepest dark purple depth of colour and that zingy unique fruity flavour.
Bunching up marigolds and sweet peas for our honesty box table (its actually an old apple crate) outside the gate, to sit along side my homemade jams, jellies, chutneys and pickles.
Happy jam making and remember blackcurrants freeze well, so just pull off their stalks, then pop them into the freezer and use them up in a jamming session later on in the year. Blackcurrants also make delicious vinegars, liqueurs, chutneys, jellies, purees, compotes and wine. Or simply scatter them whole and fresh over salads and replace them for blueberries in muffins.
One more thing; blackcurrant leaves are wonderfully fragrant, add them into homemade cordials and lemonade. Also delicious scrunched into a big glass of botanical gin and tonic….
Now off to experiment with a marrow and lemon marmalade..