I thought I would share something a little different this morning. While I generally share ideas for playing, learning, and exploring with little ones, I thought I might share something I just cooked up (heehee).
We’ve been on our little farm for exactly one year now. Part of the reason we moved out here was to become more self-sufficient. We really want to learn to grow and make our own as much as we can. Turns out its not as easy as I had envisioned it being …
Like, not even close to as easy.
The growing is still in the beginning stages this season for the most part, but we have had a few harvests. Thanks to our lovely neighbours with excess, we have had oodles of strawberries and red currants.
A strawberry is no trouble around here. They are eaten lighting fast, and cooked into jam or crumble or pie. But a red currant. Those tiny tart berries were not that quickly eaten by my little ones. Though when they were those puckered little faces were priceless.
I had never even heard of red currants until my neighbour asked if we wanted to pick the rest of their bushes as they were done. Not one to turn down anything new (well, that is far from true. Not one to turn down anything new berry wise, is much more accurate) we headed over with our baskets and got to picking.
My neighbour gave me a few different recipe books with red currant recipes. I ended up trying one recipe but it turned out super sweet. So I adjusted the sugar, removed the liquid pectin (because red currants are very high in pectin so it’s not really needed (look at me learning!)) and this yummy 2 ingredient jelly was created.
The best thing about this jelly is how quick and easy it is to make. As long as you are okay with your little ones helping by the hot stove they could absolutely help you with this jelly. It only takes about 30 minutes start to finish.
To make this 2 ingredient red currant jelly you only need red currants (clearly) and white sugar (I know – sugar).
Begin by sterilizing your jars. Keep the lids in the boiling water until you are ready to put them on the filled jars. This is necessary – I speak from strawberry jam experience.
Next, wash 4 pounds of red currants. Don’t worry about removing the stems or seeds, just wash it all well. (It goes through a strainer eventually and you will use only the liquid.)
Pop it into a big pot, add 3/4 cup of water and mash it all together well with a potato masher.
Heat it to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Remove it from the heat and pour it through a strainer. Don’t stir it at all, just let the juice slowly drip out of the strainer. The juice that drips out will give your jelly that beautiful, dark, and clear colouring. Leave it to drip for about 10 minutes. (Please don’t mind the picture quality below, I had little helpers … I tend to blame my littles for poor photos, poor babes.)
Next, measure the amount of juice you have and put it in a pot on the stove. Add equal parts of sugar. So if you have 3 cups of juice add 3 cups of sugar. This seems like a lot, but the original recipe I used was double! This will still give your jam that nice, slightly tart taste.
Bring the juice and sugar to a rapid boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes (be careful it doesn’t boil over – huge mess. HUGE).
Remove from the heat and skim off any foam.
Ladle into the prepared jars, leaving 1/4 inch at the top. Place your (boiling hot) lid on and hand tighten the ring.
Place in a water bath for 5 minutes (or the length of time required where you live).
And that is it! This jelly is so yummy, plus you get the health benefits of red currants! High in fiber and full of immune boosting vitamins too. I know, and full of the unhealthy un-benefits(?) of sugar. But only half full, I am needing baby steps.
I did make the strawberry jam with honey and it was delicious. One thing at a time. For my first time making jelly I wanted to stick with the basics, perhaps next time I will muddle with other options for sweetening. Any suggestions?
There you have it, jelly straight from the (neighbours) garden.
Thank you for reading friends. Happy Monday!