I would like to say a lot of positive things about this but, quite frankly I am a little peeved with something else just now, you may have gathered this from the venting blog post directly preceeding this….
Anyhow, made blackcurrant jam last night with some of the blackcurrants my dad and stepmum gave us back in July, the remainder will be made into blackcurrant liquer. Yummy…
I made this in the slow cooker/on the hob, last night – no foodprocessor required (that is just it’s wee home).
So, anyone looking for quantities and recipe please scroll down below the picture of the end result…
makes approx. 7 jars
These are any washed jars we have saved-up from Tesco everyday value pickles to Lidls jams (I think their jam jars are much prettier). I first rinse the remaining contents of the jar, pop it all in the dishwasher then as soon as it is out screw lid on and store until I have enough to make a batch (usually I will wait until I have approx. 10 jars – always best to over-estimate than not have enough – I have done that before and had to do a last minute rush around all the neighbours to find extra!).
For this batch I used:
1.5kg blackcurrants (frozen, partially thawed)
1.5kg granulated sugar (any sugar is fine but granulated is cheapest – you can get a 5kg bag at most supermarkets for less than £3)
3 limes (most recipes say lemons, but thought I’d try limes as we had no lemons and the limes were needing using – we only had the three, I don’t always use the lemon/lime though for blackcurrants it probably helps remove the tartness)
Below is the method I used this time, however you don’t have to do this long in the slow cooker, I don’t think it will adjust your cooking time on the hob by much, and you may get a stronger flavour if you just do it on the hob or reduce the slow cooker time. In the past I have just done it on the hob – I will put the method for this below…
Slow Cooker Method (used 10/11/15)
- Take all the jars, remove lids and place in a sink or large bowl of boiling hot water.
- Place all the ingredients into the slow cooker (mine is a 6.5l pan, if you have a smaller one will need to reduce quanity as needed). Put on for 4hr high. Stir in sugar, add no more than 300ml hot water to help dissolve the sugar.
- Check and put on for a further 4 hours.
- Remove from slow cooker and place in large clean lidded pan until boiling/bubbling (careful it doesnt get your skin – cooking jam is SUPER hot), stir all the time to avoid it burning/sticking to the base/edges. I use a long handled wooden spoon for this.
- Keep stirring and when it appears to be getting thick test. Test by getting a plate with cold water, take a clean teaspoon full of the jam and put in the saucer, if once cooled the jam is still runny, it is not ready and will need a bit longer, if it is like a thick gel when you push your finger into it and moves roughly back into shape but looks like a jam, then it is ready to jar up. Remove it from the heat – it will only get thicker and overset or burn on the bottom.
- take one jar at a time (I get annoyed with tongs so try to just quickly pick one out the hotwater – though you may prefer to avoid scolding yourself for the sheer hell of it and use tongs…), holding in a folded towel or teatowel (it’s gonna get super duper hot, and wet so you may want to change this every so often if you start to feel the heat through it too much or get burnt), using a spoon (I have my preferred spoon for filling which is a dipped plastic spoon – more like a laddle but small enough to fit in the opening of most jars), spoon fill the jar till just before the top.
- Find the corresponding lid and screw on with care.
- Repeat until no jam left in pan – when you get to the last bit you can use a spatula to get it from around the edges (if you haven’t burnt it), the put the jar on the side and scrape the last bit in.
- Leave your jars to cool with the lids fully tightened. By putting the lids on now you are sealing the jar – it will only start going off or getting mouldy if (a.) you didn’t clean the jar and dirty residue was left (the boiling water helps kill any final germs) or (b.) you didn’t tighten the lid whilst the jam is still hot. if the lids had pop/click lids that popped or clicked when you used them the first time, some of these will reactivate as the jam cools. You will hear the jar lids popping for a good 6-12hrs after filling.
- I leave the jam to cool for between 12-24hours before I use it, and if giving away to a friend or relative I let it set for at least 24-48hrs.
Tips: Use the things you find comfortable – most recipes say you must use a wooden spoon – it’s preference. I use a wooden spoon for stirring, but could just as easily use a metal or plastic one. That said you will find they can give your food a different flavour – even if only slightly, try drinking the same glass of water from a glass, a plastic beaker, a ceramic mug and a metal goblet. The will all taste slightly different – personally I can only drink water from a glass – i dont like tasting the other vessels in my drink, the same way I will only have a coffee from a mug, or a tea from a white teacup or white mug (this is also so I can see the colour of the tea especially if drinking a green tea that doesn’t have much colour – you just wouldn’t see if the tea had brewed or not otherwise….).
The slow cooker method will take around 30min-1hr on the hob. This hob method will probably take around 1-2hours on the hob. But it takes as long as it needs, and remember – you make the jam as thick as you want. When doing the saucer test, how it looks when cooled is how it will be when jarred up, so if you like it runny, then make it runny. If you jar it up and it doesnt seem to have set as much as you had hoped, just chuck it back in the (clean) pan and boil it again repeating the saucer test until you are happy. I did this earlier this year with the marmalade I made – it hadn’t set to my liking so i just emptied the jars back into a clean pan and reboiled – a good two months later.
When making rhubarb and ginger preserve I don’t do it in the slow cooker as it tends to over do and it changes the flavour. You may prefer this method or may not have a slow cooker. I do in a slow cooker to save on me standing by the hob, but I prefer the flavour of this method.
- place the fruit only in the pan (weigh it first you will need the same wieght of sugar as you have fruit), cook until boiling, stir at all times (I prefer my long-handled wooden spoon see above).
- add the sugar when fruit is bubbling/boiling, stir until fully disolved, add lemon/limes if required.
- follow from point (5.) above.
If you see any errors here that you would like me to correct – please let me know! x x