Thursday, July 4, 2013

Canning Season - Red Currants

Out of all the lovely bushes in the side yard, we have three red currant bushes. I was quite excited when we moved in almost three years ago and found these lovely plants were in the yard. I had high hopes that we could do some canning or make currant wine or something with them.

As the last two years passed, it was pretty obvious that I was fighting a lot of health issues as a result of my last major glutening, and the ideas of canning had to be shelved for a time.

This year though, I remembered the currants and decided since we had permission to check over the cherry tree, I'd go ahead and check over the currant bushes. I picked everything I was able to find that the birds had not made off with, and netted about 4 cups of currants.

We'll be making currant jelly with these babies today.

I decided to mesh two recipes together today. One I read suggested using Kirsch Likör, and the other is alcohol free.  I will use about two tablespoons of Lörch Kirschwasser on top of the recipe I found from

Unlike other bloggers, I would like to ask you to check out the first link. It has some beautiful photos from France (I presume it is from France), and show you in better details than I could, how beautiful these fruit were on the bush. Unfortunately, our bushes are quite tight with leaves, short and picked over by the local birds and wildlife.  They wouldn't make a pretty picture at the moment.

As far as canning goes, this is quite easy, but time consuming.  I'm funny about stems, so I went ahead and took the fruit off of the stems just in case there were any rotten fruit left behind after being rinsed.  I came up with four cups of berries, which isn't too bad considering.

It takes about 30 minutes to can these, but most of this time is spent in either cooking the fruit and the long wait for them to drain through cheesecloth rather than the water bath portion of this. This only needs to be in the water bath for about 5 minutes depending on your altitude.

That's not bad really, is it?
  • 2 pounds ripe red currants
  • 2 1/2 cups canning sugar (this has pectin already in it here in Germany)
  • 1/2 cup water
Basically, you cook the currants in water until they begin to get soft. Once that has been done, you'll mash the fruit and strain them. Once you've sufficiently strained the currants, you'll have about half of what you begin with. This is what you will be cooking with the canning sugar and canning into jelly.  It's really up to you whether you wish to press and get fruit into the jelly or if you would rather a clear jelly.  I'm not one to tell people what to do when it really is all about aesthetics.  What is aesthetically pleasing to me, may not be to you.

Red Currant Jam, J. Stahl, 2013

We ended up with five jars full of jam. We gave one to our neighbors downstairs as a thank you for letting me get down in the yard to find all the currants I could.

This should last us through the year. Not enough for years of preserving, but hey, it's a start, right?

So, have you ever canned currants? Or maybe you've made wine out of them?  Have you ever considered canning currants? If so, drop a comment down below and let me know what you did, and I'll definitely consider that for next year!

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