This year my blackcurrants recovered from being moved last year and were back to their normal abundant cropping. I have only 2 plants and they produce so much fruit I am always at a loss for what to do with them. This is mainly because I made so much jelly 2 years in a row that 3 years later I am still eating it! Canned goods last forever right?
I am very glad that the blackcurrants did well this year because my red and white currants got decimated by a caterpillar. Oddly the caterpillar stripped all 6 plants of their leaves but left about 50% - 60% of the fruit intact. After picking the currants I ended up with more caterpillars on my clothing that fruit in my basket.
Back to blackcurrants...I went back to my favorite books, the River Cottage Handbooks. This time I went for No. 2 Preserves and found a great recipe for potted blackcurrants. When reading the description as being great with custard or ice cream I thought this would be perfect.
Getting blackcurrants off the plant individually is pretty easy so I decided to pick them this way so as to make the cleaning and canning part of the job easier. You really want to pack them in the jars but want to avoid crushing them. Once they are all in the jars you want to pour the syrup over them. To make the syrup you want to heat 600 ml of water with 200 grams of sugar. Once the mixture comes to a boil keep boiling for about 1 minute. Let this syrup cool slightly (to 60 degrees C) and then pour over the fruit up to the brim. Fasten with the screw bands as per normal for canning. Place the jars in water which is at 38 degrees C and then over 25 minutes heat to 88 degrees C and then maintain at this temperature for about 2 minutes. Lift out the jars and once totally cool check for a seal.
I have never canned this way but all of my jars were sealed and the liquid in the cans is a lovely blue/purple color, what a great use for blackcurrants!