Blackcurrant Jam is one of the easiest jams you can make. Blackcurrants are naturally high in pectin which is the agent required to make the jam set. You don’t need to add any additional pectin or lemon juice in this recipe, just blackcurrants, water, and sugar.
Jam – A Family Tradition
Making jam is a family tradition. I can remember picking blackcurrants with my Granny in her garden. She then made Blackcurrant Jam.
My Mum is a very accomplished jam maker and I’ve yet to taste anything to better her Raspberry Jam. I started making jams in my teens and I’ve never stopped.
A good year for blackcurrants
This year has been particularly good for blackcurrants in my garden. We had a warm dry spell in early summer when the flowers were pollinated and ‘set’.
Since then we have had an awful lot of rain, not great for other things, but the blackcurrants absolutely love it and are nice and big and juicy and perfect for Blackcurrant Jam!
What are blackcurrants?
Blackcurrants are small tart berries that grow on a woody shrub. They are easy to grow in the garden and will even grow well in containers.
Blackcurrants ripen in mid-summer and are ready to pick when they turn from dark red to black.
How to Grow Blackcurrants
Read my Step-by-Step Guide: How to Grow Blackcurrants for all the information you need to successfully grow your own blackcurrants in the garden or in a container.
Can I use frozen blackcurrants to make Blackcurrant Jam?
Frozen blackcurrants are perfect for jam. Just put them in the pan with the water the same as fresh blackcurrants.
Blackcurrants freeze really well. You simply place them on a fray in a single layer. Open freeze and then put into a freezer-proof container.
You can also buy frozen blackcurrants if you are not able to find them in the shops.
How to make Blackcurrant Jam
I’ll take you through the steps to make blackcurrant jam. There really aren’t too many because it is a very easy jam to make.
Soften the blackcurrants
Place the blackcurrants and water into a large pan and simmer until soft.
Add the sugar
Add the sugar and stir over low heat until all the sugar crystals have dissolved.
Bring the jam to a rolling boil
Bring the Blackcurrant Jam to a rolling boil and boil for about 15 minutes
Take off the heat and test for set
Take the pan off the heat and set aside while you test for set (see below). If the jam is not set put the pan back on the heat and bring back to a rolling boil for another 5 minutes.
Pot the Blackcurrant Jam into jars
Use a ladle and jam funnel or a jug to pour the hot jam into sterilised jars. Fill right to the top so that the minimum amount of air is left between the jam and the lid.
Seal the jars
While the jam is still hot, seal the jars with sterilised lids. Check that the lids are still tight once the jam has cooled. Add labels if liked.
Jam Making FAQs
Why do I need a large pan to make jam?
You need a large pan to make jams because when the sugar boils it rises in the pan. It will boil over if you don’t have a big enough pan.
How do I sterilise my jam jars?
I sterilise my jam jars and metal lids by thoroughly washing and rinsing them. I then put them, still wet, upside down onto a baking tray and place it in the oven at 150C just before I start to make the jam.
The water creates steam which helps to sterilise the jars. I take them out of the oven and fill them with the hot jam, then put on the lids. There are other methods but this is how I sterilise my jars.
Do I need to water bath the jam?
No. I have never water-bathed jam. All my jams, jellies, and marmalade stay in good condition for at least a year kept in a cool dry cupboard.
In some countries, water bathing is common practice and often used for lower sugar recipes.
What does a Rolling Boil look like?
I learned about jam-making from my Mum and my grandmother. A lot of what you learn in cooking and baking is very visual. It’s much easier to understand when you can see what you are aiming for.
So here is a little help with the main techniques for jam making. The video above will show you what a ”rolling boil’ looks like.
The Wrinkle Test – is the jam going to set?
Once the jam has boiled, you will need to check if it will set (firm up) once cooled. There are many different ways to test for setting point.
- Use a jam thermometer
- The ‘flake’ test where it drips off your spoon
- The wrinkle test
I always use the wrinkle test it is simple and has not failed me yet.
How do I do the wrinkle test for jam?
Place some saucers in the fridge before you start making the jam because the cold plate helps speed up the cooling of the jam for the test.
Boil your jam for 15 minutes, take the pan off the heat, and put a teaspoon of the jam onto one of the cold saucers.
Place the saucer in the fridge and leave for 5 minutes. Then remove the saucer and push your finger across the jam. If it wrinkles, you can skim off the froth and pot up your jam. See the quick video above.
My jam didn’t wrinkle – what do I do?
If you haven’t got a wrinkle, put the pan back on the heat and boil for another five minutes, then test for set on another cold saucer.
Serve Blackcurrant Jam on bread or toast. The sharp tang of the blackcurrants is tempered by the sweet sugar giving it a fresh and delicious flavour.
You can use blackcurrant jam to make jam tarts, as a topping for cheesecake, to fill a sponge cake, or swirl it into yogurt to make your own fruit corners. Or try my recipe for Baked Blackcurrant Swirl Cheesecake
More Jam Recipes from Farmersgirl Kitchen
More Jam Recipes
- Easy Redcurrant and Port Jelly – An ideal jelly to serve with lamb or with cold meats from Kavey Eats
- Fig and Strawberry Jam – I’ve never thought of combining figs and strawberries but Kate at The Veg Space has created this amazing jam, well worth trying if you love figs
How to make Blackcurrant Jam
- 450 g blackcurrants 1 lb
- 450 ml water 3/4 pint
- 550 g sugar 1 1/4 lb
- Place 3 saucers into the fridge to use when testing for set.
- Remove the stalks, then wash the fruit.
- Simmer gently with the water until the skins are really soft.
- Add the sugar
- Stir until dissolved
- Boil rapidly (rolling boil) until setting point is reached.
- I suggest you boil for 15 minutes then test for set, if not set test again after 5 minutes.