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!
Seedlees Raspberry and Red Currant Jam (without gelling sugar)
yields 8 small glasses
- 750g raspberries
- 1 kg red currants
- about 1kg sugar
Wash the berries and put them dripping wet in a big pot (at least 6l pot). Bring the berries to boil while stirring. As soon as the berries swim in their own juice, reduce the temperature and simmer the berries for about 20 min, stirring occasionally.
Using a food mill or a sieve with a fine mesh and a wooden spoon, pass the berries through the sieve. The seeds in the sieve should be as dry as possible afterwards. Weigh the pulp (should be around 1 kg) and add the same amount of sugar. Boil for 4 min, then test on a cold plate if it gelling. Fill into pre-sterilized glasses. Put a lid on an let cool.
Tipp: The leftover seeds after straining contain enough fruit flesh to flavour some vinegar. Just mix the same amount of seeds and vinegar and let it infuse for about 2-4 weeks. Then strain the vinegar into a fresh bottle and dispose the seeds.