Last week I was busy in the kitchen making jam with my nana.
I know it’s probably not the healthiest thing but I got given bags of lovely summer fruits so I couldn’t let it go to waste. One of my friends has an allotment and grows all sorts of fruits and vegetables, he had an abundance of redcurrants and gooseberries so asked if I would like some. I kindly took him up on his offer because making jams and chutneys has been something I have been meaning to do for a long time but never found the time.
I took the fruit to my nana’s as she has all the jam making equipment already (and she is an expert) and we set out and made batches of redcurrant jelly, gooseberry jam and gooseberry chutney. Gooseberry chutney is ideal for meat sandwiches and with cheese, or anything else that might take your fancy.
The jam and jelly recipe are ones that my nana uses quite regularly and has been using them for years; I found the chutney recipe on line but I tweaked it slightly and added ginger to give it a bit of a kick. Here’s the recipe for the redcurrant jelly. Have fun making your own lovely fresh jams and chutney, with no additives or preservatives.
1lb Red Currants
½ pint of water
Wash your berries and put them in your jam pan and add your ½ pint of cold water. It doesn’t matter if there are still stalks and leaves mixed in because it will get strained later. I had 3 ½ lb of berries so if you have more or less berries just work out how much water you need.
Put the pan on a medium heat and cook until the berries are soft and falling away into the water, you may need to stir occasionally. Once they are soft take the pan off the heat and ladle into a jelly strainer over a large bowl (you could use a clean tea towel or fine sieve if you don’t mind your jelly having a few bits in it.) You will need to leave it to strain and cool over night.
Collect the liquid the next day and measure how much you have. Add it back to a big pan and add 1lb of sugar to 1litre of the redcurrant liquid over a medium heat. Make sure all the sugar has dissolved, you can tell if you stir it and it doesn’t feel gritty in the bottom of the pan. Once it starts to bubble turn the heat up to full and let it boil for about 10 minutes. Keep stirring so it doesn’t stick to the bottom and burn. Turn the heat off and ladle into your clean jars. Add the lids straight away so it creates a good seal.
Store in a cool dry place and enjoy on toast, scones or even on your turkey it’s great for sweet and savoury.
Enjoy! – Leanne