Redcurrants are prized for the flavour and bright red colour they lend to jams and jellies. The fruits are often made into wine or used in pies or sauces, and make an ideal accompaniment to roast lamb or lamb chops. This recipe yields approximately seven 300 ml jars of tasty redcurrant jelly.
Combine 12 cups of redcurrants with 6 cups of water in a large heavy pan. Place over a high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the redcurrants are soft -- about 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from heat and use a potato masher to mash the currants, breaking them down as much as possible. Strain the mash through a piece of cheesecloth, allowing the liquid to drip into a large mixing bowl. Do not squeeze, but allow the juice to drip without force.
Measure out 6 cups of the redcurrant liquid. Add water to make 6 cups if there is not enough. Pour the liquid into the large heavy pan, and stir in 6 cups of preserving sugar. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Turn the heat to high and stir constantly while bringing the mixture to a full boil. Stop stirring once a boil is reached and allow the liquid to cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and skim any foam off the top.
Ladle the redcurrant jelly mixture into pre-sterilised canning jars. Fill to within approximately 1 cm of the top of the jars, and then wipe the rims with a clean cloth. Secure the lids on the jars tightly.
Fill a pot large enough to hold all of the jars with water and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and place the jars inside the water, making sure they are covered at least 2.5 cm over the top. Allow them to process for 10 full minutes and then remove with tongs.
Place the jars on clean towels to set. The lids will pop as the jars cool, effectively sealing them. If jars fail to seal, refrigerate for up to three weeks. Store sealed jars at room temperature for up to a year.
Remove redcurrants from their stems before using them to make jelly for best results. Pulling them upward through the tines of a fork is the easiest method.