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Red Currant Jelly


Red Currant Jelly

Red Currant Jelly
© Denzil Green


Red Currant Jelly is a clear, scarlet-tinted seedless jelly made from the juice of Red Currants, water and sugar. No pectin is require in making it.

Bar-Le-Duc is a famous French jelly made from red currants. In French cooking, the jelly is used along with creams to flavour sauces for wine-braised boar or venison. This saucing technique is called "grand veneur." You can use it with beef and pork as well.

On its own, the English like to serve it with lamb. It's the basis of the English sauce known as Cumberland Sauce.

Cooking Tips

Wash red currants. There is no need to remove the stems (aka "ribs"); you can just leave them on. In fact, many feel that the stems provide added pectin for a good set. Place red currants and water in non-reactive saucepan.
  • Per pound (450g) of berries, use 1/2 cup (250 ml) of water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally and mashing gently every now and then until until you have a pulp -- about 20 to 30 minutes.

Spoon into a jellybag or cloth to drain, suspended over a bowl. Let stand and drain at least 12 hours. When letting the juice drain, don't squeeze the bag or cloth to speed it up, or your jelly may well get cloudy.

After this, put this juice and sugar in a non-reactive saucepan.
  • Per cup (250 ml) of juice, 1 cup (4 oz / 115g) of sugar. You can reduce the sugar a bit if you like your jelly tarter in taste.

Stir to dissolve sugar, bring to a boil and let boil rapidly, skimming as needed. Meanwhile, sterilize the jars.

After a bit, remove the pot from heat. Put a teaspoonful of jam onto a cold saucer. Let it cool a few minutes, and run a finger through it. If it wrinkles, it's done. If not, put pot back on heat, boil a few more minutes, then test again. Repeat until you get the wrinkled effect.

Pour into sterilized jars leaving 1/2 inch (1 cm) of headspace, wipe rims, put lids on.

Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

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Bon mots

"Iced champagne was served, and the feel of the cold wine in her mouth gave Emma a shiver that ran over her from head to toe."

-- Gustave Flaubert. (French novelist. 12 December 1821 – 8 May 1880) From "Madame Bovary"

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