13 August 2013

Blackcurrant and Honey Jam

I tasted some Blackcurrant and Honey Jam, having ambushed a Class winner after a recent Honey Show. It had the usual slightly tart flavour of blackcurrants with an added, but quite subtle, aftertaste of good quality, strong, honey. It was absolutely delicious.

As there was a decent crop of blackcurrants this year, more than needed to add flavour to basic apple pies, I decided to make some of this jam myself.

The recipe I used isn't quite the same as the one I was given, because when I checked online there were several versions, each with a different ration of fruit:sugar:water. I decided to keep to the ratios I've always used for blackcurrant jam.

Basic proportions are :-

1 unit blackcurrants : 1.5 units white sugar (substitute half with honey) : 0.5 units water

  • 2 lbs blackcurrants
  • 11/2 lbs tasty honey
  • 11/2 lbs white sugar
  • 16 fl oz water (add a little more if you think it is needed)
  • Put blackcurrants and water into a preserving pan and simmer gently until the skins have softened. This will take 20 - 30 minutes.
  • You could crush the softened blackcurrants, to ensure maximum pectin is released.
  • Add sugar and honey. 
  • Heat gently, stirring continuously, until the sugar has dissolved and the honey has dispersed.
  • Raise the temperature and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Continue boiling, still stirring occasionally, until the setting point is reached - only about 10 minutes or less. **
  • Remove from the heat and leave to settle for 15-20 minutes.
  • Use a jam funnel to pour into warm, oven-sterilised, jars with pop-top lids.
  • Leave jam to cool.
  • Check lids are properly sealed before labelling and storing in a dark, cool, cupboard.

* My kitchen scales are Victorian, passed down through the family, so I use Imperial weights - hence the proportions, which are more easily converted to metric equivalents.

** Use a cold saucer to test for a set rather than relying on a thermometer. Mine set at just over 100C whereas the sugar thermometer expects jam to reach 105C to set.


I was quite surprised by how quickly the jam reached the setting point. Maybe the variety of sugars - granulated cane sugar, natural sugars in the blackcurrants, and the combination of sugars in Heather Honey - make their setting temperature slightly lower than usual.

I also always bring fruit and water for jam to the boil, let it simmer for a couple of minutes, and then let it rest for 24 hours. I find this is the best way to release natural pectin, especially for making marmalade or strawberry jam. Blackcurrants are a high pectin fruit, so perhaps this resting time isn't necessary for this particular recipe.


No comments:

Post a Comment