Friday, June 26, 2009
The unexpected currant
We were at my in-laws one Sunday afternoon.
While going around in their vegetable plot, I spotted this huge blackcurrant plant.
"Go ahead!" they told me "A friend brought that plant as a present, it keeps growing and bearing fruits, but we're not making much of it, so if you're interested..."
One minute after I was already in the plot with a ziploc. I must say, I took them on their word, and I didn't leave much behind me: once cleaned, the loot was 1.5lbs of freshly picked, amazingly perfumed blackcurrant.
I let it rest overnight with 1 1/2 cup of sugar (don't like too sweet a jam), the juice of one lime and the rind of half a lime. The overnight thing is just because I didn't want to stay up in the wee hours on a stove, but I also thought it would help to let it macerate a little. Apparently it's not worth it; I thought that the currants would behave like berries and release some liquid, but they didn't. Whatever.
I added one cup of freshly brewed green tea, and cooked about 30 minutes.
Do not cook it too long: blackcurrant is rich in pectin so, especially if you're working with little liquid, its setting could be too firm. For the same reason, there's no need to add apple slices or pectin powder.
The result is a sweet and sour, tart and tangy jam, it goes well in tarts, pies, over pancakes or paired with cheese.
In my case, it was just what I needed for my Bakewell tart... er... pudding .