Imogen is from West Dorset, UK. Her favourite subjects are the environment, gardening, and vegetarian food.
Blackcurrant jam is one of the easiest jams to make, as the skin of blackcurrants is so high in pectin that you don't have to add any extra and will always set if you use the ingredients and method described below. Delicious served with fresh crusty bread and butter. Plus it comes with a glorious taste and smell that is reminiscent of long-gone summers.
- a large saucepan
- wooden spoon
- straining bag (optional - for making blackcurrant jelly)
- enough sterilised jam jars to hold your finished jam (this recipe makes 5 one-pound jars of jam, or up to 3 jars of jelly)
- 2 lb fresh blackcurrants, washed and de-stalked
- 2 1/2 lb sugar
- 1 pint of water
- knob of butter (about half a teaspoon) (optional)
- Put the fruit and water in a large pan, and simmer until it is tender, then add the sugar and stir until it has all dissolved.
- Bring back to a rolling boil and boil rapidly for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it cooks evenly. Blackcurrants have the most delicious smell when cooking!
- Meanwhile, prepare the jam jars for use. They should be sterilised and then warmed on a low heat in the oven—this prevents the glass from cracking when you pour in your boiling jam.
- Test for a set: take a little of the mixture on a teaspoon and drop onto a cold plate. Allow to cool and then push the jam across the plate with your finger - if a skin has formed your jam has reached setting point, but if it is still runny with no skin it needs to be boiled for a little longer. How long exactly depends on the pectin levels in your fruit, which can vary, so be patient, and keep testing every few minutes until you are convinced you have a set, then remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the knob of butter at this point, as it will help to clear the jam of any frothy residue.
- For jam containing the whole fruit, pour the jam directly into the prepared jam jars, filling all the way to the top, and cover immediately with waxed paper and tight-fitting lids.
- Alternatively, if you prefer a smooth jelly, with no bits in, pour the jam mixture through a straining bag or fine sieve, and get into the jars as quickly as possible. The mixture will start to set as soon as it cools down, so speed is of the essence.
- Wipe the jars clean once cold, as they will probably have got quite sticky while pouring out the jam, and label with the variety and date. This jam will keep for 12 months if stored in a cool place. Refrigerate once the jar is opened for use.
© 2011 Imogen French
Anne in Canada on January 23, 2018:
Simple lovely recipe. I have red, black & white currants that have done so well this year we have lots of fruit. Love this easy oeasy recipe. Thanks
Imogen French (author) from Southwest England on July 07, 2014:
I am surprised, Etienne, I have never had any trouble setting blackcurrant jam. You do have to be patient waiting for it to set sometimes, try to get a really high, full-rolling boil for a good 10 minutes, and just keep testing it until it gets there. The corn starch sounds like a good solution for those who can't wait :-)
Etienne on July 07, 2014:
It isn't as easy as stated in Women and Home. It didn't gel. We boiled it again with the addition of two liquid packages of pectin That didn't do too much either. We added 4 tbsp of corn starch. Wonderful. Did not change the taste.
Imogen French (author) from Southwest England on December 31, 2011:
good luck with that RTalloni, I see no reason why coconut oil shouldn't be used as a substitute. I hadn't realised a "knob of butter" wasn't a well-known measure! Lol :)
RTalloni on December 31, 2011:
Thanks much--I had to look up what a knob of butter is but now I know that it is a walnut sized piece of butter. Will have to use coconut oil due to a cow's milk allergy, but that substitution usually works out very well. I think I can do this... :) Have a safe and happy new year.
Imogen French (author) from Southwest England on November 18, 2011:
I hope your bushes grow back next year Chaval - they are fairly resilient, so fingers crossed. Redcurrant jelly is lovely too.
Chaval from UK on November 18, 2011:
I was hoping for some blackcurrants and redcurrants from a couple of bushes I bought, but slugs ate them to within an inch of their lives. Maybe next summer they'll crop . . . I'll keep your recipe close by.
David Stillwell from Sacramento, California on November 11, 2011:
IF: This is one of my favorite jams! it is very versatile and makes great glazes for all kinds of foods.
Imogen French (author) from Southwest England on September 27, 2011:
Thanks for your comment rickrideshorses. Blackcurrants are not usually found in the wild in the UK> I am lucky enough have a few bushes in my garden so always have a plentiful supply in July, but they are all gone now. This time of year (autumn) you may still find wild blackberries or damsons which make great jam, but you will need to check another recipe for the correct amount of sugar and pectin to go with each type of fruit.
Late autumn is also the best time to plant blackcurrant bushes in your garden, if you don't mind waiting until the summer after next to get your first crop!
Rickrideshorses from England on September 27, 2011:
Making jam seems so much better than buying it at the supermarket: healthier, tastier, cheaper, and it can be stored, like you say. After reading this great hub, I'm going to give it a try. Any idea where to get blackcurrants from? Can they be picked in the wild?