I would have never thought as a teenager that I’d want to have my own garden one day. Having had to help my parents on an allotment with plenty of fruit and vegetables wasn’t exactly my idea of spending summer holidays at that age. And it wasn’t just about digging, weeding the beds and harvesting the produce. There was a lot of work to do afterwards to preserve the surplus of berries, currants, cucumbers or tomatoes.
Never did I wish to have a small plot of my own so intensely than during the Covid pandemic. I thought pottering about in a garden must have had a therapeutic effect, and was very rewarding too. Perhaps my dream will come true and I will be able to grow my own fruit and vegetables one day. At the moment I’m happy to help in my friend’s garden and have some of their organic produce given as a gift.
When I got a bowl of white and black currants a couple of days ago, I decided to make a jelly from the white ones, and eat the black currants raw. I know that all types of currants are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but the black ones top the list.
This is what I made out of a bowlful of white currants:
White Currant Jelly
- 2 cups white currants
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Rinse the currants in a sieve or a colander under running water. Let drain, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the sugar and stir well into the currants. Let stand overnight in a dark, cool place.
- The next day, pulse the sugared currants in a blender and transfer to a deep, heavy-bottomed pan. Place over low heat to let the sugar completely dissolve and combine with the currants. Stir now and then. Transfer into a fine mesh sieve and strain, discarding the pulp and saving the juice. You can speed this step up by pressing on the mixture with a tablespoon or ladle.
- Pour the currant juice into a clean heavy-bottomed pan and place over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the amount of the liquid reduces by about a half. Stir frequently, as the mixture starts thickening quite quickly. The jelly is of the right consistency when the spoon leaves a path in the mixture.
- Carefully pour or ladle the hot mixture into a clean, dry jar. Screw on the lid and let cool down. Store in a dark, cool place. When opened, use the contents of the jar within two weeks. If refrigerated, the jelly will keep for even longer. I may have lost some of the vitamins in the process, but got a jar of nice, flavourful jelly to put in my yoghurt, a cake, or simply spread on a slice of bread.