This was a whole family effort, children, parents and grandparents together picked these juicy blackcurrants. My children were thrilled when they found yet another fruit laden branch, of which there were many! We filled an old saucepan to the brim with the large purple blackcurrants, from there they were weighed, bagged and carefully nursed home. My father ran through the recipe quickly and with a final wave we left them to their own jam making. Their recipe only calls for 1kg of fruit at a time as they believe it impairs the flavour if the batches are too big.
I think that they could easily sell their jam at the local farmers market, what we took home was only a fraction of the fruit on the branches. Our back garden blackbirds are the best fed in the country!
With some of the remaining blackcurrants I made a Frangipane Tart, which I adapted from my Blueberry Frangipane Tart, I added 300g of the blackcurrants instead of the blueberries, it has a much sharper taste but it is perfect with some sweetened cream or creme fraiche.
Yield 4 x 454g Jars
1kg Fresh blackcurrants, washed and stalks removed
1kg Granulated sugar
Knob of butter
Wash the blackcurrants in cold running water to remove any grit or grime.
Remove the stalks and any unripe (green) blackcurrants. Place the blackcurrants in a large saucepan, add the sugar, water and the butter (my fathers tip: the butter will stop the jam from bubbling up too much).
My mother's tip is that by placing the blackcurrants first in the pan it will prevent the sugar from burning into the bottom of the pan.
Bring the mixture slowly to the boil. Skim the scum from the top.
Allow the jam to come to a roiling boil for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Meanwhile place a saucer in the freezer and sterilise your jars. Keep the sterilised jars warm in the over at 110ºC/225ºF/ Gas Mark ¼ until needed, this will prevent the jars from cracking when pouring in the jam.
Remove the jam for the heat, ladle into the warmed jars, seal and label.