Redcurrant and raspberry jam

RedcurrantRaspberryJam21sep13_3540-web

Jars donated for sale at the jam stall – Abundance Wimbledon Fruit Day 21st September 2013.

First a big thank you to those who bought a jar of this jam at Fruit Day on 21st September 2013, which helps Abundance Wimbledon finance their non-profit activities.

This redcurrant and raspberry jam is easier to make than the pear and lemon jam also sold at Abundance Fruit Day 2013. It can be made in one go and there is no problem for it to set as redcurrants are rich in pectin.

With this batch of jam I tried to replicate what I usually do in the summer with the wild raspberries I pick in my home region in France. I mix redcurrants with some of these raspberries to make the redcurrant jam less acidic and more tasty.

The only difficulty with this jam is that a particular piece of equipment is required, although not specific to jam-making: a moulin, or sieve, like this one:

Image 30

Cheap ones partly made of plastic can be found in UK supermarkets. It enables to remove  the seeds from soft fruit.

This jam was the most popular of the two at Fruit Day, even if both of them sold out. Maybe the colour, a bright deep red, played its part. Or, more importantly, the home-made scones we spread it on made the perfect tasting combination?

To make the jam, I looked at Christine Ferber’s recipes*, and adopted a format in between her “marmelade” and her “gelée”. In fact we used to make this sort of jam at home when I was a child, and I have been replicating and adapting my mother’s methods for many years now. I also like to discuss jam recipes with people, so my recipe benefits from a combination of influences really.

The result is a well set jam with a smooth texture and no seeds, which uses not only the juice of the fruit but also its pulp, unlike the traditional jelly passed through a muslin. That way as little of the fruit is lost as possible, and the jam is, according to Abundance Fruit Day visitors, delicious.

Product information – redcurrant and raspberry made for Abundance Fruit Day 2013:

  • Origin of the fruit:

– Redcurrants: given by Abundance Wimbledon.
– Raspberries: I picked them in a South West London Pick Your Own.
– Lemon: supermarket.

  • Characteristics of the fruit:

– Redcurrants: picked in July and kept frozen.
– Raspberries: picked after a week of relatively cold and humid weather, so not particularly tasty and sweet. I would have preferred to pick them ealier, during the hot and sunny part of this 2013 summer.
– Lemon: no need to buy unwaxed lemons, we only use the juice.

  • Sugar: Granulated, white.
  • Composition per kilo of fruit puree: fruit (55% redcurrants – 45% raspberries in that particular case), 800g of sugar, juice of half a small lemon, 10cl of water. Proportions may vary according to fruit availability and what the jam maker wants to achieve, from 85% redcurrants – 15% raspberries, which makes a redcurrant jam, to 100% raspberries, which makes a pure raspberry jam but with a risk that it won’t set.

Recipe:

  • Put 1.2kg of fruit in a sauce pan over a gentle heat for 10mn, adding 10cl of water at the start to avoid burning. Also stir to avoid burning.
  • Pass through the moulin. It should give at least a kilogram of fruit puree. Discard the seeds and skins.
  • Put the puree in the jam pan.
  • Repeat the operation until all the fruit has been used.
  • Add the sugar and the lemon juice, and stir gently for the sugar to melt.
  • Cook over a strong heat for 5 minutes from boiling point.
  • Check that the jam sets by pouring a few drops on a cold plate coming from the fridge. It is unlikely that it wouldn’t.
  • The jam is ready to be poured into the jars.

Published by Jean-Jacques Lescure on 24th september 2013.

** ‘Leçons de Confitures’, Christine Ferber, 2009, Editions du Chêne Hachette Livres (book in French).

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