Thursday, August 14, 2008

Making Blackcurrant Jam

Blackcurrant Jam is just about the easiest jam to make.
Find some ripe blackcurrants.Pick them with your friends.Clean the fruit by picking off all the little stems (most tedious part) and getting leaves out etc . . .Weigh the cleaned up fruit and dump into a very large and thick bottomed pot. Add in the same amount in weight of sugar and turn the heat on VERY LOW to warm things up. Stir the sugar-berry mixture as it heats up. This will take some time if you're using a lot of berries. I had over three kilos of fruit.

While that is cooking up, get your jars ready. They must be scrupulously clean. I put the jars through the dishwasher on their own on the hottest setting and then leave them there until I'm ready for them.

The sugar will draw the juice out of the blackcurrants and make stirring easier. Keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. You can then turn the heat up to a low-medium setting or flame and bring the whole mass to a boil. Keep stirring every once and a while to make sure that nothing sticks and burns.

After boiling for 20 - 25 minutes and then start ladling the hot jam into the jars (leaving 1/2 inch of head space) and put the lid on.

When you've put all the jam into jars and put the lids on, it is time to sterilize the jars.

I only have one pot that is big enough for this job and it is the same pot I made the jam in. So I washed the pot and then filled it half way up with water and set that water to boil. You must put some sort of wire thing in the bottom of your pot to prevent the glass jars from sitting directly on the bottom of the pot. I didn't have this wire thing so I just put a bunch of small teaspoons in the pot. It wasn't pretty and the jars didn't sit up straight while boiling, but it worked. Place the jars into the boiling water and ensure that the boiling water covers the jars. Boil for at least 20 minutes. You can then remove the jars (with tongs please!) and place on the kitchen counter to cool.I made so many jars of jam that I had to sterilize the jars in two batches.

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