Alycia trundled off in her best berry picking outfit and went twice in the span of a week, coming back with about 8 pints and 15 pints respectively from her two trips. We took one of these batches and laid the berries out on cookies sheets in the freezer, then transferred them to plastic bags once they were frozen (this is a great trick to keep things like raspberries and strawberries from freezing together in a great big icy clump). The rest of the raspberries went into the pot and made into jam. Sweet, tart, delicious jam.
here) is raspberry currant jam and since currants are used, there's no need to add pectin. Yay! No more fussing around with the pectin solutions to make sure I've got the right amount, and no jam that won't set because I messed up the math somehow. Currants are chock full of natural pectin and the jam will set magnificently with no added pectin, just the naturally occurring amount in the currants.
We have some currant bushes near the driveway that produced a bumper crop this year. These are in their second year and the few berries that popped out last year got gobbled up by the birds (I was slow to apply the bird netting last year). This year I properly netted the currants and gathered 10 cups of currants from just 2 bushes. Considering that I have three more bushes that will start producing next year and plans to plant 3-5 more, we should have plenty of currants for years to come.
Anyways, sorry for the tangent. Back to the jam!! I've already gone way overboard with too many words (500 words already?!?!?), so let's get to the jam recipe. It really was easy to make, less than 2 hours for the whole process.
Here is your ingredient line up:
- 4 cups red or black currants
- 1/3 cup water
- 6 cups red or black raspberries
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- Wash currants (you don't need to de-stem) and place in sauce pan with water.
- Stirring frequently, bring the mixture to a boil.
- Press through chinois or other strainer to get just currant juice and pulp.
- Add the currant juice/pulp, raspberries and sugar to a large stock pot.
- Stirring continuously, slowly bring the mixture to a boil.
- Keep at a full rolling boil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the jam reaches the gel stage.
- Remove from the heat and ladle into sterilized canning jars.
- Seal jars and boil in a water bath for 5 minutes.
- Remove from water bath and allow to come to room temperature.