Sunday, August 2, 2009

Red Currant Jelly

Since I was so thrilled to find red currants, I thought I'd try to make jelly. I've made lots of freezer jam before, but only a couple cooked jams. And as far as I can remember this is my first jelly. I used my grandma's china cap (anyone know another name for this that doesn't sound like a slur?). I decided to try Christine Ferber's recipe from Mes Confitures. Basically it's
1.5 kg currants
1 kg sugar
200 g water
juice of 1 lemon

Weighing out my currants (the kids helped clean, and it
still took 2 hrs!).

Ready to make the juice:

After the boiling:

What I didn't know about making jelly was how long straining the juice takes. At first I left my water bath going thinking I'd be putting the jelly jars in right after the 5 min on the stove - ha!

Here's about 1 minute's worth of straining, a photo about every 5 seconds or so.

I don't know if you can really tell from the pictures, but that was 2 drops a minute.

It was just laughable. It took about 4 hours for the juice to strain. Part of the issue was pressing too much on the fruit in the china cap. And I didn't have a jelly bag so I used a flour sack set up, and then when I saw how long it was taking, I also put a coffee filter in the china cap and about 4 coffee filters in another strainer (propping them up against each other). Honestly, after this, I couldn't believe that people really used to make jelly every year. I was so discouraged and couldn't believe I wasted my time on this....until the jelly actually set....

and it looked so pretty - even on the kids' crooked picnic table. :)

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