The 1:1 gelling sugar was sold out this weekend in our supermarket. Buying 2:1 or 3:1 was not an option for me as I like to avoid having preservatives like potassium sorbate in my homemade jams. All 2:1 and 3:1 gelling sugars contain some preservatives to cope with the reduced amount sugar. And so I stand in the sugar aisle, mused about jam making and decided to cook it in the “good old way” without gelling sugar.
Since some years I cook already my quince jelly only with quince juice, sugar and citron juice if needed, and always get an red-orange jelly with an intense flavour. Red currants contains a lot of pectin as well and so cooking them without gelling sugar sounded like a good idea. To reduce the risk of burning the jam, I let the berries simmer for 20 minutes without sugar, before I pass the softened fruits through a sieve and mixed it with the sugar. Starting with 1750g berries I ended with 1000g berry pulp and about 350g leftover seeds, meaning that a lot of water was evaporated. This leads to a dark red, aromatic jam and I’m sure that I will do my red currant jams in this way now all the time!