Summer is in full swing and the gardens are blessing us with fruit and veg. My parents have a quite a big garden and my mum is the master of it. What I remember from childhood is the abundance of fruit, and that we would make massive fruit salads fresh off the tree and bushes, with raspberries, strawberries, red and black currant, … Now unfortunately I don’t have a garden myself (yet), living in a flat with no balcony. But it doesn’t keep me from enjoying the summer fruit. Of course I want to preserve them for the winter, because, you know (or you don’t, if your name is Jon Snow), winter is coming. So today I am sharing a delicious and easy to make red currant and mint jam recipe with you. The red currants are slightly acidy, and the mint makes it refreshing. A very summery jam that goes well on toast with margarine or peanut butter,on pancakes or as fillings in cakes (I am thinking chocolate cake…). I found a recipe for a similar jam in a German book about presents from your kitchen, and it came out so well that I decided I have to share it with you.
I used a jam sugar with a ratio of 3:1 that has less sugar and more pektin, a plant-based gelling agent derived from citric fruit. It makes the jam less sweet and more fruity that way. You can also use jam sugar with a ratio of 2:1, you just have to use more of the sugar then. Check the packaging of you jam sugar for instructions.
Here is what you need for about 3 glasses of 300 ml each:
800 grams of fresh red currants
270 grams of jam sugar (3:1)
fresh mint leaves from 3 – 4 stalks
After washing them, remove the currants from the stems, put them in a big pot and puree them (I used my beloved stick blender). Be careful, the red juice is a pain to get out of cloths again, so I advice on wearing a cute apron like a good house wife. If you don’t want any seeds in your jam, you can strain the puree through a strainer. You will get a little less jam that way. The seeds do not bother me at all though, mine came out fairly soft. Then add the jam sugar to the currant puree, put on your stove, heat over medium heat and bring to a boil. Let it boil for about 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, wash and finely chop the mint leaves. Once the jam is thickening (try it by putting a little on a clean plate and see if it gels), turn off the gas or take the pot off the stove. Stir in the chopped mint leaves and fill the jam immediately into sanitised twist of glasses (see note). Put on the lid and turn the glasses upside down for about 15 minutes. While the jam cools down a vacuum should form inside the jar and preserve your summery red currant and mint jam. Enjoy or give to people you like as presents!
Note: To sanitise jam jars, wash them thoroughly first, then put them into your oven at at least 150 °C for 10 minutes to kill any germs. I often bake a cake or bread while making jam, so I am not heating the oven just to sanitise the jars.