August 09, 2018

Blackcurrant jam - classic version without addition of gelling agent


I have been practicing my jam skills in my own little kitchen after my return from the Summer preserves course, so maintaining my jam skille without using natural food ingredient such as pectin in powder format. It is more of a challenge, a least for me to reply 100% on the natural pectin content from the fruit itself combined with addition of high levels of sugar (close to 45% of the jam is sugar) and finding the specific time, when you have cooked the jam enough, so it WILL set in the glass afterwards. And when you have to be very patience for up to 1-1½ day, before you are sure, that the jam will set, and you carefully turns the jam jar a little during the day to see, if it is setting or not.

As usual I was invited into the garden of my good friends in Horsens, which have plenty of bushes of blackcurrant for free picking. And I decided to test of a recipe on blackcurrant jam from the jam book "First Preserves". I got 8 jars of blackcurrant jams from this portion, which I am not able to eat myself ! Therefore I decided to bring some glasses of the jam to work, where I have been selling the extra jam jar for 15 DKK (approx 2 €) to my colleagues, and later in the Autumn I will donate the entire sum of money from this jam to charity (araceagainstbreastcancer.dk).

If you want to be 100% sure, that your blackcurrant jam will set, when you should have a look into these recipes: classic blackcurrant jam with twist of balcamicoblackcurrant jam with liquorice lemon and blackcurrant jam, where you have the natural pectin to ensure, that the gelling will take place.

Blackcurrant jam: - 8 glasses
  • 1 kg black currant
  • 850 ml water
  • 1.4 kg sugar
  1. Prepare the blackcurrants by washing the blackcurrant, removing the berries from the strings, removing leaves and removing the dead flower end.
  2. Place the blackcurrants in a large cooking pan and pour in the water. Bring the fruit to the boil, and let fruit simmer gently, until the fruit is tender, approx 25-30 minutes.
  3. Prepare the jam glasses either by heating up in the oven or adding boiling water to them.
  4. Add the sugar into the fruit mass and stir until it is dissolved.
  5. Bring the jam to a rolling boil and boil hard until the setting point is reached. Stir the jam frequently.
  6. Test of set after 5 minutes using the flake test.
  7. When the setting point is reached, remove the pan from the heat and leave it to stand for 5 minutes. As the jam settles, push any scums from the surface of the pan to the side and remove it with a metal spoon. The purpose for the waiting step is well to build viscosity in jam, so the fruit pieces will be trapped inside the jam inside of be going to the top of jam.
  8. Gently stir the jam after the resting time and pour it into the prepared glasses, fill the glasses up to the brim. Remove any scum for the surface of the jam using a tea spoon. Close the glass with a lid.
  9. Leave the glass upright and disturbed to cool and set.
  10. Store at ambient temperature.

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