Another recent fun find for me at the Farmer’s Market were black currants. I have never had the opportunity to work with them or enjoy them fresh. They are a slightly coveted berry that evokes warm and leisurely summer days so I have plans to make multiple small batches to enjoy during the grey winter months with Greek yogurt or homemade bread and to gift to loved ones.
Although I have not previously had the chance to work with black currants, I have enjoyed Crème de Cassis for years in Kir royal and other cocktails. So I figures why not blend the best of both worlds and add Crème de Cassis to my jam? It turned out beautifully! Black currants are another fruit with a lot of natural pectin, so I was able to cook them to 220 degrees without added pectin to get a beautiful set. This jam actually sets up a lot as it cools, so to get a looser jam I may cook my next batch for a bit shorter time. The jam is sweet, slightly tart, and you can taste the Crème de Cassis on the finish. It is really delightful and is just as simple as the Gooseberry, requiring you to do nothing more than put all of the ingredients in the pot and cook away.
BLACK CURRANT JAM with CASSIS
Yield: 2.5 cups
- 14 oz. (by weight) fresh black currants (2.5 cups), washed and de-stemmed. (There is no need to remove the little brown top)
- 12 oz. (by weight) organic cane sugar (1.5 cups)
- 3/4 cup Crème de Cassis
- 1 T. lemon juice
Prepare a boiling water bath canner and your jars (I used (5) 4 oz. jars for this recipe).
Add all ingredients to a wide bottom pot and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce to a hard simmer and cook the mixture, stirring often to prevent sticking and burning, until desired consistency or 220 degrees is reached.
Ladle jam into prepared jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rims with damp paper towel. Place lids on jars and tighten rings finger tight. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool 24 hours. Store in a cool dark place for up to one year.
NOTE: If you do not want to use Cassis, you can substitute 3/4 cup water or orange juice.