Blackcurrant Jellies

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It was so hot the other day, I refused to budge from the comfort of the air-conditioning so I had to think of some indoor activity to keep me occupied.

Since I made Pork with Blackcurrants, I have had frozen blackcurrants in the freezer.  As they took so much effort to find, I wasn’t going to whizz them up in my morning smoothie.  I had decided I was going to make blackcurrant jellies with them.  I just hadn’t got around to it.

One day, not long after I made the Pork with Blackcurrant,  I was thinking about what to do with the blackcurrants and my mind wandered back to Fruit Pastilles and how everyone loved the blackcurrant ones the most.  They were so popular that, eventually, Rowntree released Blackcurrant Pastilles.

“I bet there is a recipe on the web for blackcurrant jubes,” I thought.   I went on the web to see if I could find one.  What I did find was a recipe for blackcurrant fruit jellies.  It was on the blog @Køkken by Shirley.  I just reread Shirley’s post.  She, too, was reminiscing about Fruit Pastilles.

Shirley’s photos are absolutely lovely (though the fruit in her pics look like blueberries not blackcurrant but that is just nit-picking).

These little fruit jellies definitely taste like Blackcurrant Pastilles – but they are jellies not jubes and, therefore, not chewy. They literally melt in your mouth.  When you put one in your mouth, you get tang from the blackcurrants and citric acid, sweetness from the sugar and then, at the back of the palate, is the smoothness of the pear puree.

Shirley advises that the recipe Pate de Fruits Cassis is taken from Le Cordon Bleu “De la Cueillette, a la Recette”  – an illustrative Le Cordon Bleu French Pastry Training Manual.

Ingredients:

  • 200g blackcurrant puree (You will need about 400g of blackcurrants)
  • 150g pear puree (You will need 2 medium pears)
  • 8g pectin
  • 38g caster sugar
  • 375g caster sugar, extra
  • 75g glucose
  • 8g citric acid
  • sugar for coating

Method :

  1. Line a 18cm x 18cm (or thereabouts) tin with baking paper.
  2. Puree 2 pears, strain the pulp and measure out 150g of puree.
  3. Puree about 400g of blackcurrants, strain the pulp and measure out 200g of puree.
  4. Mix the pectin with the 38g of sugar.  Set aside.
  5. Put the blackcurrant and pear puree in a saucepan and heat to 40-45°C.
  6. Slowly add the pectin and sugar mixture into the puree mixture, stirring all the while.
  7. Add the glucose and continue to stir.  Heat until puree starts to bubble.
  8. Slowly add the rest of the caster sugar, stirring to dissolve after each addition.
  9. Continue to stir and heat until temperature reaches 107°C.
  10. Remove the pot from heat. Add the citric acid and stir well to dissolve.
  11. Shirley notes, and I concur, that once the citric acid is added, the mixture gels quite quickly.  So….  quick smart, pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
  12. Leave to cool and set at room temperature.
  13. When totally cool, run a knife around the edge of the tin and tip the tin upside down over a flat plate.  The gel will fall out.
  14. Remove the baking paper and cut into pieces.  I made mine about 1 cm square but I think about 2.5cm (1 inch) would be better.
  15. Dust with sugar.

Addendum September 2013

Several days after making these jellies I noticed that they began “melting”.  I never knew why until today when I happened to read the following extract from Le Cordon Bleu Dessert Techniques:

When using gelatine in desserts it is important to bear in mind that an enzyme in some raw fruit and fruit juices breaks down the protein in gelatine and reduces its setting qualities.  The gelatine may set initially, but then, on standing for 24 hours, the mixture softens.  Raw pineapple, and papaya and unheated lemon juice all have this effect.  Heating destroys the enzyme, so in pasteurized juices and canned fruit, the enzyme has been destroyed, eliminating the setting problem.

I am not certain whether it was the pear juice or the blackcurrant juice either way, you may be better off using canned fruit.

10 thoughts on “Blackcurrant Jellies

  1. Congratulations Glenda – my goodness you sure are having a go with some unusual recipes. I used to love those pastilles. What a terrific idea; even tho they weren’t chewy, they sound like they’re packed with flavour. I love this post!

  2. Those look, and sound, delightful! We don’t much see black currants hereabouts – but I’m sure they grow here – strange. You’ve brought back memories of one of my favorite of all time aperitifs, Vermouth Cassis. Do you know this one? AKA Kir – equal amounts of white vermouth, cassis, and sparkling water. Loved it! Still do.

    • OK, if I’m going to make this, I need to know what you mean by ‘pectin’ – I like something known here as Pomona’s Pectin, which is not as ‘tricky’ as other pectins – ever hear of it? It’s made from citrus, not apples.

      • Hi Doc
        I used Jam Setta which is an Australian brand. It is powdered. The ingredients are pectin, sugar (as the carrier) and citric acid. Balls sell ‘Real Fruit Pectin’ and list the ingredients as sugar, acid and pectin. That is the type of stuff I would use.

  3. My late brother and I used to fight over the black and the red ones! 🙂

    It’s been stinking hot here in SA, we were melting and then all of a sardine we are back in jeans and fleeces!

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