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 .


  1. I love blackcurrant, I can't believe your in-lawn don't eat the fruit, lucky you!

    We used to make a lovely sauce for dessert by making a caramel, adding frozen currant and whole cinnamon sticks. It was so yummy.

  2. HI! Seriously beautiful pictures! I'm hosting a jam exchange this month and was wondering if you'd like to join in?? I'm trying to gather a whole bunch of people and all it takes is being willing to mail 2 jars of jam to someone. All the info to sign up is here:

    Hope you can join in!