This post has taken me longer than I wanted it to.
Normally it wouldn’t matter, but in the fast changing world of nature what that means is that the redcurrants should have been picked by now. Having said that there could be some hanging in there that haven’t shrivelled up or more importantly haven’t been eaten by the birds!
Equally I have never seen a wild redcurrant bush so my guessing is if you have a redcurrant bush like I do at home then you will already have picked them!
Redcurrants are from the same family as Gooseberries though look nothing a like. Instead of big round 1-2″ berries with spines and hairs the redcurrant is a much smaller, smoother, shinier currant and of course its bright red!
It is even smaller than the blackcurrant (blackcurrants tend to ripen slightly later than redcurrants) and slightly more tart but equally as sweet.
Redcurrants are often used in fruit custard tarts (yum), on cakes as decorations or made into Jelly to accompany Sunday roasts especially Game meats such as Venison, or with Lamb.
June-July, depending on the conditions of the year, is the best time to pick both Redcurrants and Gooseberries which makes them a great combo.
Having already written a blog post about Gooseberries you already know I am a BIG fan. I could eat Gooseberry crumble, cake, Jam all day. So putting Redcurrants and Gooseberries together in a jam is a great way to use both and compliment each other.
When picked from the bush they will last a few days- week in the fridge or do what I did with the Gooseberries and put them straight into the freezer. As always they keen really well frozen and you can get them out when you need them.
This recipe couldn’t be simpler, first go out picking your fruit!
I picked from my garden, had some off my family and even found a pick your own for the Gooseberries so had plenty to work with, and had fun picking.
You need to collect:
750g Gooseberries (red or green your choice) and 750g Redcurrants.
Top and tail the Gooseberries and take the stalks off the Redcurrants and then put the fruit in a large saucepan.
Add 650ml water and simmer for approx 30 minutes, string and mashing occasionally to ensure the fruit is softened.
Then, reduce the heat to low, add 1.5kg caster sugar and stir until dissolved.
Bring to the boil again and continue to boil for 30 minutes.
Test to see if the jam is setting by putting a small amount of it onto a chilled saucer and put it into the fridge for a few minutes. Take out and push the skin, if it crinkles it should be ready.
Depending on your preference though you may like it runnier and I would always air on the side of caution with jam after my very first attempt saw rock solid marmalade. So mine didn’t exactly crinkle but it set perfectly fine when cooled in the jar.
When you are happy with the consistency pour the jam into sterile jars and seal.
I love Gooseberry jam and adding Redcurrants just gives it that extra something special.
So give it a go and enjoy on toast, scones or just sit there with a spoon! 🙂