Today we made a pilgrimage to Maple Lane Farms in Connecticut, to pick black currants. Black currant jam is my favorite and this recipe makes a fairly loose jam which I love because it works beautifully as a sauce. Try this over vanilla ice cream and your life will be complete! Currants need to be softened and soaked overnight or the skins don’t break down leaving you with unpleasant tasting jam.
Black Currant Jam
Makes 5 8oz jars.
3 cups of fresh black currants
5 cups granulated sugar
Place the currants and two cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel and let soak overnight.
Sterilize the 8oz jars in boiling water in the canning pot for ten minutes along with other equipment to be used in the canning process. Steep lids and rings in boiling water until needed.
In a large saucepan, combine the fruit and water mixture along with the sugar. Bring to a rolling boil stirring constantly. Boil for 2-3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat and skim off any foam from the pan. Stir for five minutes before ladling into the hot sterilized jars.
Wipe the rims of the jars clean before securing the lids with the rings onto the jars. Place into the still boiling water canner and process for ten minutes. Make sure the jars are completely covered with water and are not touching.
Remove and place on a kitchen towel. Once the lids pop the lids are sealed. Leave undisturbed for 24 hours to help with the setting process. Any jars that do not properly seal need to be stored in the fridge.
Black currants are high in antioxidants and make a delicious juice which Maple Lane Farms sells commercially. One sip of this nectar and I'm back to my childhood. Look for a link to my Providence Journal Garden Blog entry tomorrow, where I talk about black currants in Rhode Island and my childhood memories of the fruit.
See you in the garden,