Red Currant Jelly is a classic in our home, we prepare red currant jelly from scratch every year in June/July in Europe.
The red currant jelly recipe is without pectin and preservatives, you can make it easily at home with the step by step recipe and how to + tips further below.
My parents in Austria are growing red currants, white currants, black currants and a special berry, which is a cross between currants and gooseberry, known as Jostaberrry.
So as you can imagine, we tend to have a load full of currants every year again. The red currants are usually turned into a sweet red currant syrup, however, we always have enough red currants to prepare this organic red currant jelly recipe from scratch.
Red currants are known to be very sour fruits. They look gorgeous, like sparkling ruby red stones. Each berry string holds a few of those perfectly round, firm and red transparent berry “balls”.
The moment you see red currant dangling on a bush, you are tempted to pick a bunch. You admire the looks and expect a playfully sweet berry on your tongue. The moment you crush a berry you realize that the red currants aren’t just sour but extremely sour!
Then of course it depends where the red currant bush is growing. If the red currant bush leafs are not getting much sun, because of a sultry rainy spring, the berries tend to turn out more sour.
For example, my grandfather and a few of my uncles are growing a batch of red currants too in north France. Somehow the red currants always turn out sweeter in France compared to the ones growing at 600 m above the sea level in the Austrian alps.
Besides the amount of sun rays hitting the red currant leafs, the mud on which the bushes grow also have a final impact on the sweetness of the fruits. On top of that commercially available red currants tend to be sweeter.
We shouldn’t forget that sour berries indicate something important! Sour means the berries are stuffed with nutritious ascorbic acid, better known as Vitamin C, which is an essential Antioxidant.
Antioxidants block damages caused by free radicals destroying the DNA. Consider this: The more free radicals the more health problems (cancer) and the faster you will age.
We all have come across these terms, Antioxidants and free radicals over the past years but I noticed often that it isn’t always understood by others. So the knowledge around the topic is limited and people can be easily fooled.
I have a great example: Somebody proclaimed some selected fruits as super foods, so called cancer killers, as for example the soursop fruit, Guava and Goji berries to name a few.
The problem with that is that some people take advantage and are selling the so called super fruits very overpriced in the markets to those who are desperate to find a cure for cancer and that just can’t be right.
You see, soursops or guava are not the only fruits rich in Vitamin C, there are other fruits such as citrus fruits, red currant, blueberries or lesser known Indian berries such as the Zunna berry which are also very rich in Vitamin C.
These fruits are commonly available, completely normally priced, especially lemons and oranges.
To enjoy our red currants longer, I choose to preserve them, so that I can enjoy them at a later point in time. One of the best ways to indulge red currants is this red currant jelly recipe.
How do you make red currant jelly from scratch?
The red currant jelly recipe is a family recipe calling for only 3 ingredients.
Also, the red currant jelly is completely pectin-free and if you want added flavor, then use organic red currants to bring out all the good sides of this gorgeous jelly.
The amount of sugar in the recipe below is normal and commonplace when making any jam or jelly.
The sugar is required, so to preserve the jelly well and for a longer period.
If you would reduce the sugar, you would end up quickly with mold growing on your gorgeous homemade sugar, so you would have to consume the jelly within only a few days.
Commercial jams have chemical preservatives included which makes the jam taste strange and artificial.
Also, these preservatives might not always be good for you.
That is why you need to use plain old regular sugar instead so that the jelly preserves long enough and so that you can retain the natural flavor in the jar.
When you intend to use the jelly, you usually just take a small spoonful on your bread slices, so the jelly will never taste too sweet.
Red Currant Jelly Recipe
- 1.75 pounds Red Currants
- 5 cups Water
- 2.2 pounds Sugar
- Place the currants into a cooking pot, add the water. Cook for 30 mins, first on low heat, then increase and boil at the end.
- Sieve the boiled currants. Make sure to squeeze the fruit left overs well so that all the juice comes out. Discard the fruit parts. Take the juice back to the heat and add all the sugar.
- Mix and let cook on low heat for 40 minutes. Then increase heat at the end until you have foam forming and a rolling boil. Remove from heat and test the jelly by adding some into a cold plate. The jelly is ready if it’s not running, if it’s still running it will need more cooking time.
- Add a few drops of rum into the lid, close the jar with the jelly still hot and turn the jar upside down and keep like this a day or night. Then store in a dry and cool place. Or you can also use the plastic cover technique for open jars as shown. Just add some egg white to a plate, dip the plastic into the egg white and close the open jelly jar with the plastic by carefully sealing the sides.
- Store in a cool and dry place. I always keep mine in the fridge.
- Uee fresh red currants only
- Use regular sugar, not pectin sugar.
- 1 serving = 1 teaspooon, 70 servings = 3-4 jars
More fruit preserves:
Dear Reader, where do your red currants come from? Do you grow them at home, buy them or are they growing somewhere wild near you?