Delia Smith Blackcurrant Jam Recipe

Last updated on February 6, 2024

Delia Smith Blackcurrant Jam
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 30 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr

For homemade jam with fresh, bold blackcurrant flavor, try Delia Smith’s classic blackcurrant jam recipe. This easy jam comes from the celebrated British cook’s Complete Cookery Course cookbook. It calls for just three simple ingredients – blackcurrants, water, and sugar.

The genius of Delia’s approach is that it doesn’t require added pectin or lemon juice. She knew blackcurrants are naturally high in pectin, perfect for helping jam set up properly. Her method is flexible as well. Feel free to adjust the sugar amount to your taste and the sweetness of the fruit. You can also customize the jam with complementary spices and herbs. Now let’s get started on making Delia’s famous blackcurrant jam!

What is Blackcurrant Jam?

Blackcurrant jam is a type of fruit preserve made from blackcurrants, sugar, and water. Blackcurrants are small, dark purple berries that grow on shrubs and have a tart and aromatic flavor. They are rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and anthocyanins, which give them their deep color and health benefits.

Blackcurrant jam is a popular spread for toast, scones, muffins, and cakes. It can also be used as a filling for pies, tarts, and pastries, or as a topping for ice cream, yogurt, and cheesecake. Some people even enjoy it with cheese or meat dishes.

What is Delia Smith Blackcurrant Jam?

Delia Smith blackcurrant jam is a type of fruit preserve made from blackcurrants, sugar, and water. It is a simple and straightforward recipe that does not use any pectin or lemon juice, as blackcurrants have enough natural pectin to set the jam. It is a classic recipe from Delia Smith, the famous British cook and author, who has shared it in her Complete Cookery Course book.

Why You Love this Recipe

Delia Smith’s blackcurrant jam recipe has charmed many, and for good reason. Its simplicity is its true allure, making it an accessible delight for both novices and seasoned cooks. This recipe requires just a trio of ingredients—blackcurrants, water, and sugar—yet it yields a jam that is rich in flavor and splendid in texture. What’s more, it affords a delightful adaptability:

  • Ease of Preparation: The recipe is straightforward, requiring no specialized skills, making it a joy to create.
  • Customizable Sweetness: Tailor the sugar quantity to suit the natural sweetness of the berries or your personal preference.
  • Flavor Variations: Introduce a twist with spices or herbs. A pinch of cinnamon, a whisper of vanilla, a few cloves, or a sprig of mint can transform the jam into a bespoke concoction.
  • Seasonal Flexibility: Whether you opt for fresh blackcurrants in their prime or frozen ones in the off-season, this recipe ensures you can enjoy the jam year-round.

Ingredients Needed to Make Delia Smith Blackcurrant Jam

You will need:

  • 2 lbs (900 g) of fresh or frozen blackcurrants
  • 1 1/2 pints (855 ml) of water
  • 2 1/2 lbs (1.1 kg) of granulated sugar

Useful Equipment

You will also need the following equipment:

  • A large saucepan or preserving pan
  • A wooden spoon
  • A sieve or a food processor
  • A saucer
  • A candy thermometer (optional)
  • Sterilized jars and lids

Instructions to Make Delia Smith Blackcurrant Jam

Making Delia Smith’s blackcurrant jam recipe is not difficult, but it does require some patience and attention.

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

  • Wash the blackcurrants and remove any stalks or leaves.
  • If using frozen blackcurrants, thaw them first.
  • Measure the water and pour it into the saucepan.
  • Weigh the sugar and put it in a heatproof bowl or tray.
  • Warm the sugar in the oven at 180°C (350°F) for about 15 minutes.
  • Place a saucer in the freezer for testing the set later.

Step 2: Cook the Blackcurrants

To cook the blackcurrants:

  • Add the blackcurrants to the water in the saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer gently until the fruit is soft. This may take about 30 minutes.
  • Mash the fruit with a wooden spoon or a potato masher to release the juice and pectin.
  • Alternatively, you can process the fruit in a food processor or a blender for a smoother texture.
  • If you prefer a seedless jam, you can pass the fruit through a sieve or a jelly bag to remove the seeds.

Step 3: Add the Sugar

To add the sugar:

  • Add the warmed sugar to the fruit mixture in the saucepan.
  • Stir well until all the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Bring to a boil again over high heat, then lower the heat and boil rapidly for about 10 minutes.
  • Skim off any foam or scum that forms on the surface with a metal spoon.

Step 4: Test for Set

To test for set:

  • There are two ways to test if your jam is ready to set: using a candy thermometer or using a cold saucer.
  • If using a candy thermometer, insert it into the jam and check if it reaches 105°C (221°F), which is the setting point for jam.
  • If using a cold saucer, take it out of the freezer and drop a small amount of jam onto it. Wait for a few seconds, then push it with your finger. If it wrinkles slightly, it means it is ready. If it is still runny, it needs more boiling time.
  • You may need to repeat this test several times until you get the desired consistency.

Step 5: Jar and Store

To jar and store:

  • Turn off the heat and let the jam cool slightly for about 15 minutes.
  • Ladle the jam into the sterilized jars, leaving some headspace at the top.
  • Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp cloth and seal them with the lids.
  • Label the jars with the name and date of the jam.
  • Store the jam in a cool, dark, and dry place for up to a year.
  • Refrigerate after opening and use within a month.

Instructions to Make Delia Smith Blackcurrant Jam

How Do I Enjoy Delia Smith Blackcurrant Jam?

You can serve and enjoy Delia Smith’s blackcurrant jam in many ways.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Spread it on toast, scones, muffins, and cakes for a delicious breakfast or snack.
  • Use it as a filling for pies, tarts, and pastries for a sweet treat.
  • Top it on ice cream, yogurt, and cheesecake for a decadent dessert.
  • Pair it with cheese or meat dishes for a savory contrast.
  • Mix it with water or soda for a refreshing drink.
  • Add it to sauces or dressings for a tangy twist.
How to Serve Delia Smith Blackcurrant Jam
Delia Smith Blackcurrant jam

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Blackcurrant Jam

Here are some pro tips to help you make the perfect Delia Smith blackcurrant jam:

  • Use ripe and fresh blackcurrants for the best flavor and color. You can also use frozen blackcurrants, but make sure they are not too watery or mushy.
  • Warm the sugar in the oven before adding it to the fruit mixture. This will help the sugar dissolve faster and prevent crystallization.
  • Use a candy thermometer or a cold saucer to test for the set. Do not rely on time alone, as different factors may affect the setting point of the jam, such as the ripeness of the fruit, the amount of sugar, and the altitude.
  • Skim off any foam or scum that forms on the surface of the jam with a metal spoon. This will improve the clarity and appearance of the jam.
  • Let the jam cool slightly before jarring it. This will prevent the fruit from rising to the top of the jar and create a more even distribution.

Variations of Delia Smith Blackcurrant Jam

You can vary Delia Smith blackcurrant jam by adding some spices or herbs for extra flavor.

Here are some examples:

  • Cinnamon Blackcurrant Jam: Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the sugar before warming it in the oven.
  • Clove Blackcurrant Jam: Add 10 whole cloves to the water before adding the blackcurrants.
  • Vanilla Blackcurrant Jam: Add 1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the fruit mixture after adding the sugar.
  • Mint Blackcurrant Jam: Add a handful of fresh mint leaves to the fruit mixture after adding the sugar.

How do I store Delia Smith Blackcurrant Jam?

You can store Delia Smith’s blackcurrant jam in a cool, dark, and dry place for up to a year. Make sure you use sterilized jars and lids to prevent any bacteria or mold from growing in your jam and spoiling it. Label your jars with the name and date of your jam. Refrigerate after opening and use within a month.

How do I reheat Delia Smith Blackcurrant Jam?

You can reheat Delia Smith’s blackcurrant jam by placing it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwaving it for 10 seconds at a time until warm. You can also reheat it by placing it in a small saucepan over low heat and stirring occasionally until warm. Do not overheat or boil your jam, as this may affect its texture and flavor.

Nutrition

The nutrition value for the blackcurrant jam recipe per tablespoon is approximately:

  • 33 kcal
  • 0.1 g fat
  • 0 g saturates
  • 8 g carbs
  • 8 g sugars
  • 0.5 g fibre
  • 0.1 g protein
  • 0 g salt

❓FAQs

How do I make blackcurrant jam without sugar?

If you want to make blackcurrant jam without sugar, you can use alternative sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, or stevia. However, you should be aware that sugar not only adds sweetness but also helps to preserve the jam and prevent spoilage. Therefore, if you use sugar substitutes, you may need to add some lemon juice or citric acid to increase the acidity and pectin content of the jam. You may also need to reduce the amount of water and increase the cooking time to achieve the right consistency. You should also store your jam in the refrigerator and use it within a few weeks.

How do I make blackcurrant jam with pectin?

If you want to make blackcurrant jam with pectin, you can follow the same recipe as Delia Smith’s blackcurrant jam recipe, but add some powdered or liquid pectin to the fruit mixture before adding the sugar. Pectin is a natural substance found in fruits that helps to set the jam and create a firmer texture. You can find pectin in most supermarkets or online stores. You should follow the instructions on the package for the amount and method of adding pectin to your jam.

How can I adjust the sweetness of the jam?

The amount of sugar can be adjusted based on the natural sweetness of the blackcurrants and your personal taste preference. A general rule is to start with a 1:1 ratio of fruit to sugar, but you can reduce the sugar if you prefer a tarter jam. Remember that sugar also helps to preserve the jam, so if you reduce it, the jam may not last as long.

Can I use frozen blackcurrants to make blackcurrant jam?

Absolutely, frozen blackcurrants can be used to make blackcurrant jam. They are a convenient alternative to fresh berries and allow you to enjoy blackcurrant jam year-round, regardless of the season. When using frozen blackcurrants, there’s no need to thaw them completely before cooking, as they will easily break down during the jam-making process. However, it’s worth noting that the extra moisture from the frozen berries may slightly extend the cooking time, as the jam will need to be reduced to the proper consistency.

Final Words

Delia Smith’s classic blackcurrant jam delivers fresh, homemade flavor with just three simple ingredients. Her method removes the need for added pectin or lemon juice. Feel free to customize the sugar amount or mix in spices to your taste. Making this easy jam is a rewarding way to enjoy blackcurrants year-round. Serve it up on scones, muffins, toast, or even with savory dishes.

I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Delia Smith’s blackcurrant jam recipe step by step. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. I would love to hear from you.

Happy jamming!

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