How often have you seen red currant jelly specified in a recipe? I’ve seen red currant jelly called for literally countless times over the years, most often (but not only) as a glaze for fruit tarts.  For these my go-to red currant jelly stand-ins are my beach plum and pomegranate jellies, which have been better than adequate, thank you. 

And yet…  Wouldn’t it be nice to try red current jelly? There must be a reason why it’s called for so often.  Such were my thoughts when these rubicund drops of sweetness appeared at Amagansett’s Balsam Farms (source of the exquisite jostaberry). 

Home made jelly requires a jelly bag, a Granny Clampett sounding contraption if ever there was one. Norpro makes this one. The legs unscrew for easy storage. Do yourself  favor and get a couple extra bags too, they’ll come in handy. The bags are machine washable.  

Since this was a small batch I employed the Ball FreshTech jam and jelly maker. Little Freshtech once again earned his keep, turning out this quivering jelly lickety split. Which reminds me — “It Must Be Jelly (‘Cause Jam Don’t Shake Like That).” 


Red Current Jelly

2 pints red currants
2/3 c. water
1 1/3 c. sugar
Sure Gel “No Sugar Needed” Powdered Pectin
bottle apple juice (if needed) 

Make the red current juice: Pluck stems off the berries. Place in a saucepan with 2/3 water and stew on medium-low heat for or 10 minutes, smashing them down with a wooden spoon to make a sloshy pulp. Pour all the pulp into a jelly bag set over a bowl or pot and let drain for an hour. Twist the bag at the end to extract every last drop. The juice will be clear.

Ball FreshTech Instructions:

Add 2 T. Sure Gel “No Sugar Needed” powdered pectin to 1/4 c. of juice, mix well.  Combine this pectin/juice mixture with the remaining juice (2 cups in all) in a FreshTech jelly cooker. Set button to ‘jelly’. After 4 minutes, when the beeps sound, add 1 1/3 c. sugar. The machine will continue to cook the jelly for 20 minutes more; the beeps will sound when the jelly is done.

Stovetop Instructions:

Combine the juice and 2 T. Sure Gel “No Sugar Needed” pectin in a large heavy pot. Heat on medium until the mixture boils. Add the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Continue cooking, keeping watch over the pot and stirring to prevent scorching and boil overs. When the jelly achieves a full hard boil, boil like crazy for one minute, stirring all the while.  Remove from heat.

For both FreshTech and stovetop versions, pour the hot jelly into sterilized jars, seal and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

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Written by on August 3, 2013 under ALL RECIPES, East Hampton, Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Relish.

  • Adri Barr Crocetti

    What a lovely post, and what a terrific site you have. This is my first visit, having come from Julia della Croce. I’m pleased to have found you.

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