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Black Currant Jam

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Little Hen’s new favorite jam:  Black Currant!

I’ve always loved a little Cassis in my hot tea in the winter, but this is the first year we’ve tried jam made from these relatives of the gooseberry, which have a distinctive, smoky/ musky flavor.

Black currants are full of pectin, so they are perfect for jam – all you need is currants, sugar, water, and a little lemon juice.  (Although, next time, I think we’ll try adding some cardamom or cloves, as Sarah@ UrbanMamas suggested).

Here’s what we did:

Sterilize jars, wash lids and rings and get them hot.  Have canner going and almost up to a boil.  Then, you can start making the jam –

In a heavy bottom pot, bring to a boil:

2 1/2 cups water plus 5 heaping cups black currants, stems removed, and washed (that’s how much we picked).  Reduce and simmer 15 minutes, crushing berries against the side of the pot.   (Berries should be soft and well cooked.)

Add in 6 cups sugar + 1/4 cup of lemon juice and return mixture to a full boil.  Continue to boil until you have reached the setting point (22oF) (check often – mine took about 15 min – you don’t want to over cook!).

Remove jam from the heat, and continue stirring once a min for 5-7 min (this helps distribute any berries so you don’t have floating fruit).  Pour into hot, sterilized jars, place lids and rings on, and process 5 min in a hot-water-bath canner.
Enjoy!

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