Black Currant Jam
MAKES 2 PINTS
Louise Pawson of the Old Cottage Tea Shop makes this jam to serve with her scones and clotted cream. Black currants are tart and acidic when eaten raw but pleasantly tangy when cooked.
1 lb. fresh black currants, stemmed and rinsed
4 cups granulated sugar
1. Put currants and 1½ cups water into a heavy medium pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a gently simmer and let berries cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until berries are very soft, 15-20 minutes. Add sugar to berries and stir until dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high and bring jam to a vigorous boil, stirring often. Continue to boil, stirring frequently, until jam thickens and reaches its setting point (about 220º on a candy themometer), 6-10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and skim any foam that has risen to the surface of the jam.
2. Meanwhile, submerge 2 pint canning jars, their lids and ring bands, and a widemouthed funnel into a large pot of boiling water over medium-high eat and sterilize for 10 minutes. Remove from hot water and transfer to a clean dish towel. Using the funnel, fill each jar with hot jam to no more than ¼" from the top. Wipe jar rims with a clea dish towel, place lids on jars, then screw on ring bands.
3. Transfer filled jars to a canning rack, submerge into pot of gently boiling water (jars should be covered by at least 1" of water), and place on a dish towel at least 1" apart to let cool undisturbed for 24 hours. To test that jars have properly sealed, press on center of each lid. Remove your finger; if lid stays down, its sealed. Refrigerate any jam that hasn't sealed and use within 4 weeks.