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Blackcurrants: Tips and Extras

Ending off this blackcurrant series with, as always, some tips and extra ideas of what to do with all the blackcurrants I know you've bought to try out these recipes - or, more ways to use up trade volumes of frozen blackcurrants bought in order to write recipes for blackcurrants not in July.

Blackcurrant Jelly

Less sweet and even easier to make than jam. Try it stirred into Greek yoghurt for breakfast or pudding (or both) and use it as a glaze for open fruit tarts.

Makes 2 jars.

450g blackcurrants

340g granulated sugar

Put the blackcurrants, complete with stalks, and the sugar into a large heavy-based pan. Stir in the sugar. Bring to the boil and boil hard for 8 minutes.

Strain through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan or basin, pressing the fruit lightly. Pour into sterilised jars, seal, cool down and keep in a cool dark place.

Other things to do with blackcurrants

• Pile a shortcake, pastry or biscuit base with mascarpone. Cover with liquidised, sieved and sweetened blackcurrants. Scatter with whole berries and dredge with icing sugar.

• Mix with apples in a pie or crumble.

• Make up a packet of strawberry jelly, replacing the water with a fruity new world rosé wine (but not a blush wine) or a Belgian cherry or raspberry beer. Pour it over 200-250g blackcurrants and leave to set.

• Use in a sauce for duck, pigeon, venison or hare.

Getting blackcurrants off the stalks

The easiest way: with a bowl at the ready to catch the berries, pull the main stalk up through the prongs of a fork.

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