Red currants are hard to find, yet hubby always wants to play with them (being German and all). We looked into growing currant bushes, but I guess they are not allowed here? I would love to dry my own berries for tea! But until I can get to the bottom of growing them, I am always on the lookout for them at the store. And we actually did find them this month! It was a bit expensive, but when you decide to can them for a ton of jam, it makes the price worth it per jar.
We like using this jam for pork and venison roasts. It's also really nice on ice cream. Red currants are tart, so they need some help to sweeten them up. The blood orange and raspberries add some sweet while marrying well with tart. These make great gifts, too. Keep it on your to-do list when you see those treasured red currants!
Red Currant Blood Orange Raspberry Pear Jam
6 - 6 oz. boxes red currants
2 large (approx. 1” x 3”) strips orange rind
2 - 6 oz boxes red raspberries
2 blood oranges, peeled and cut into 1/4” pieces
4 Anjou Pears, peeled and cut into 1/4” pieces
1/4 cup cherry Kirsch
4 oz. dry pectin (18 tsp dry) and
add water to dissolve into paste
5 cups sugar
1. Heat a 8 qt. sauce pan over medium high heat. Add thin layer of water to cover bottom of pan. Rinse red currants and add the stems and all to pan. Cook until red currents start to breakdown. Remove from heat and pour into a food mill, one third at a time. Process with the food mill until only seeds and stems are left in the mill back into a large bowl and set aside. Discard the remnants.
2. Peel two strips of blood orange rind approximately 2 1/2 by 1/2 inch wide and remove all pith. Pull all segments apart and cut into quarter inch slices. Peel pear and cut into quarter inch pieces. Add thin layer of water to cover bottom of 8 qt. sauce pan. And orange rind, blood orange, heat and boil for five minutes. Remove from heat and lightly mash pears to break down mixture. Do not over mash so that you don't have pieces left. Return to heat.
3. Add milled red currants and cook for five minutes, skimming as necessary. Add washed raspberries, cherry Kirsch, and then cook two minutes more. Mix sugar and pectin paste together and add to pan and mix until boiling.
4. Fill jars with jam leaving 1/2 inch from the top of the half pint jars.
5. Clean jar tops and seal. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Carefully pull out the jars, and bring up to room temperature on a towel on the counter. Listen to popping noises from the seals, assuring things are sealed nicely. Once jars are set and cool enough to handle, set on a shelf to store and set.
Makes 11 half pint (1 cup) jars. (6 1/2 cups of fruit jam)