After our impressive currant harvest, we let the currants sit in plastic tubs in the fridge for as long as we could, daring them to rot. Then moments before it was too late, I embarked on a new project: jelly-making!
While we’ve made batches and batches of preserves, we’ve brandied and maraschino-ed cherries, made conserves and more, but we’ve never made jelly. There’s always a first. And there will be a second, third and more. I found it very easy.
First step, wash the fruit and let the leaves and sticky brush float to the top of the water, then pull out the currants by hand. Just leave the fruit on the stems. No big deal.
After you get the juice, measure it by volume. For each cup of juice, you need 1 1/4 cups of sugar. I ended up with 4 1/2 cups of juice, though, and used just 5 cups of sugar. I didn’t want to overdo the sweetness. I like a little tart in my currant jelly!
Before you start cooking the juice-sugar mixture, put several plates in the freezer so you can do the gel-set test.
It comes to a boil really quickly, and after 10 minutes, you can perform the gel-set test. Just place a spoonful of jelly on the plate and run your finger through it.
If it separates and doesn’t fill in the space where your finger just left a trail, you are all set. Literally.
When you take them out, listen for the ping! ping! of the lids creating their vacuum seal. All done!