Red Currant Jam & Cucumbers

I should have made pickles today, I have loads of cucumbers. But… there was a beautiful bag of frozen red currants in the freezer that’s been calling my name. This is the first year my red currant bush fruited. It only yielded about 4 cups, not even enough to make a pie with. Still, I wanted to make something special with the berries.
I remembered making grape jelly with my Grandmother. We had an arbor in the back yard that was loaded with dark purple, thick skinned grapes. They were so delicious. Jelly day started early, picking and preparing the grapes and sterilizing our jars and lids. The kitchen steamed up and smelled all sugary, like candy. In a few hours we had rows of glistening purple jars lining the counters. That gave me the idea of making a jar of jelly.

I  found a beautiful page on the Internet :  David Lebovitz, living the sweet life in Paris , that gave  simple and perfect  instructions.

I gently cooked the currants until they were soft, then put them through a food mill.   Weighing the juice on a postal scale, I came up with 6 ounces.  The ratio between fruit and  sugar for jelly is 1 to 1 so I knew I needed 6 ounces of organic cane sugar, which I also weighed out.

I brought the juice to a boil and skimmed off the scum that came to the top and stirred in  the sugar.  Everything was then brought to a boil  for 5 minutes.  It was at the perfect jelly stage!  Everything took less than an hour.

When my daughter came home, I made us a snack.  Homemade, buttered sourdough toast with red currant jelly and a cucumber smoothie, lol.  I don’t want to waste these cucumbers!  A combination of cucumber, frozen pineapple, frozen blueberries, a squirt of lemon juice and a spoonful of honey made a  really good and refreshing drink.

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17 thoughts on “Red Currant Jam & Cucumbers

  1. I love red currants – and that recipe for jelly looks quite straight-forward, although I haven’t the luxury of so many single-use kitchen appliances like they do in France 🙂

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  2. Such sweet memories of Jelly Day with your grandmother, Cynthia! It’s so wonderful that you have followed the same tradition with your red current harvest. You are really enjoying your gifts from the garden this summer! ♡

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  3. That jelly got to that stage in 5 minutes? Wow! I’m giving up on having “thick” jam, though my lemon-blueberry jam is so delicious, who cares if it dribbles off the English muffin! Sounds like a great smoothie, and Aggie’s comment made me think– oh yes, why not add ginger, too! LOL

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  4. Also, to increase crispness in the pickles, we put them in water overnight with about a 1/4 tsp of alum in it. It seems to work, and keeps the cucumbers fresher for pickling, too.

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  5. Cynthia,
    Two weeks ago, I had currants from a bush (brought from Germany in 1952) for the first time. And, gooseberries. I loved them both and I am eager to make currant jelly, too.
    Ginene

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