Seedless Red Currant Jelly (2024)


Seedless Red Currant Jelly

Seedless Red Currant Jelly (1)

Red currants, the beautiful ruby red berries, aren't the easiest to find. Luckily I've grown up with a bush in my parents' backyard. Every summer we pick each and every single last berry to make jars of jelly that we can enjoy the rest of the year long. It's great that we have such treasures at our fingertips.

Commonly red and black currants are made into jellies. In fact black currant jelly or jam is very popular in England. I remember that while studying abroad in London, no matter how hard I looked, I could not find Concord grape jelly for my peanut butter sandwiches, so black currant jelly became my substitute, which I really came to adore.

Seedless Red Currant Jelly (2)

Red currants grow in grape-like clusters on small bushes, the fruit has become a rarity in the United States. Mistakenly thought to promote a tree disease, currant bushes across the country were systematically uprooted in the early 1900s, and production was prohibited for many years. But now you can find currants in the farmers' markets. Grab up some pints when you see them, because the season won't last long.

Here is any easy—but it can be a bit messy—recipe for seedless red currant jelly. Use the delightfully tart jelly for filling pastries or simply spread it on toast.

Red Currant Jelly

3 pints red currants (about 6 cups berries without stems)
2 cups granulated sugar

Combine the currants and the sugar in a large pot and set over medium-high heat. The berries should release their liquids and begin to bubble and foam. Stirring occasionally, simmer slowly, and allow it to reduce in volume by half. Let the mixture cool.

Into a medium-size pot strain and press the berry mixture through a fine sieve or chinois. Put the pot back onto medium-high heat and reduce by half again. Let the mixture cool.

Fill a sterilized canning jar with the cooled berry mixture. A quart-size Mason jar should do. Leave a 1/4-inch space between the jelly and the top of the lid; tighten on a self-sealing lid. Process the jar for about 5 minutes in a boiling water canner. The jelly can be stored in the pantry for up to a year.



  1. Seedless Red Currant Jelly (3)

    I've never tried red currants, but they look delicious!


  2. Seedless Red Currant Jelly (4)

    where could i find red or black currants in nyc?

    thanks !


  3. Seedless Red Currant Jelly (5)

    Hi Nina,
    Try any of the green markets. Your best bet might be the one in Union Square. There they usually have everything. Go to for more info about green markets in your area of NYC.


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Seedless Red Currant Jelly (2024)


Why is red currant jelly so hard to find? ›

Red currants grow in grape-like clusters on small bushes, the fruit has become a rarity in the United States. Mistakenly thought to promote a tree disease, currant bushes across the country were systematically uprooted in the early 1900s, and production was prohibited for many years.

What's a good substitute for red currant jelly? ›

Top 9 Red Currant Jelly Substitutes
  • Grape Jelly. Grape jelly, a classic favorite among jelly enthusiasts, is a wonderful substitute for red currant jelly and the best jelly for peanut butter and jelly sandwich. ...
  • Apple Jelly. ...
  • Blackcurrant Jam. ...
  • Strawberry Jam. ...
  • Raspberry Jam. ...
  • Blackberry Jam. ...
  • Cranberry Sauce. ...
  • Dried Fruit.

What is the difference between red currant jelly and black currant jelly? ›

Red and white currants taste (and look) similar; they are tart with a touch of sweetness. Black currants are larger and have a distinctly different flavor, more earthy or musky than other currants (and a flavor much loved by connoisseurs).

Why is my red currant jelly not setting? ›

In order for a jam to set, you need enough pectin and acid. If either are missing, the jam or jelly won't set. You can test for both pectin and acid levels. Then, if there is enough pectin, the jam needs to be boiled for long enough to allow the pectin molecules to bind together.

Is there a currant shortage? ›

Although the majority of 2023 currants have already entered the market, growers are holding back limited quantities, anticipating further price increases. Despite the scarcity and elevated prices, exports have surged, surpassing previous year levels.

Does Smuckers make currant jelly? ›

Smucker's® Currant Jelly 12 oz. Jar | Jellies | Festival Foods Shopping.

Can you freeze red currant jelly? ›

You can, as long as the jar is thick enough to withstand any expansion of the filling. If in doubt, you can transfer the jelly to a plastic contsiner with a tight seal. People make freezer jam all the time, a way of setting jams and jellies without added pectin.

Is red currant jelly cranberry? ›

Redcurrant sauce, also known as redcurrant jelly, is an English condiment, consisting of redcurrants (Ribes rubrum), sugar and rosemary.

Are lingonberries the same as red currants? ›

Their ruby color, fall harvest time, and kinship to cranberries make them a great addition to your holiday table in lieu of cranberries. And if you can't find them, you can use cranberries in a lingonberry recipe. Similarly, they can be swapped for red currants, too, which are a tad sweeter than lingonberries.

How long does redcurrant jelly last in the fridge? ›

Pour into the warm sterilised jars to fill to the brim and immediately seal with screwtop lids. Store in a cool, dark, dry place for up to a year. Once opened keep in the fridge and use within 3 months.

What do you do with red currant jelly? ›

A rich, dark, smooth jelly oozing with flavour from the very high fruit content (53% pureed redcurrant). Great with roast chicken, lamb or duck and just as good in a cold meat sandwich. Add a generous helping of Stokes Redcurrant Jelly to a traditional gravy or use to glaze a roast.

Which is better black or red currant? ›

Red currants are high in pectin, making them ideal for jams and jellies. Black currants have five times the Vitamin C of oranges and make wonderful liqueurs. White currants are typically sweeter and less acidic than red currants and are best eaten fresh.

Can you over boil jam? ›

If, on the other hand, the jam is rock solid, that means you've gone too far and cooked it too long. You can try adding a little water to thin it out, but bear in mind that after overcooking a jam, you can't really get those fresh fruit flavors back.

How to thicken jam without pectin? ›

  1. Citrus peels. Citrus peels—especially the white part, or pith—are naturally packed with pectin. If you're making a fruit jam, the citrus will add a boost of pectin without as much sugar.
  2. Cornstarch. Cornstarch is a natural thickener that works as a seamless.
Feb 17, 2021

What is a substitute for pectin? ›

Pectin Substitute

Cornstarch - Another plant-based thickening agent, cornstarch is a great substitute for pectin. Gelatin - For non-vegan menu items, you can substitute gelatin for pectin, but it will yield a different consistency.

Why doesn't the US have red currants? ›

It is native to Western Europe and has long been cultivated in the United States. In the early 1900s, currants were banned in the northern United States to prevent the spread of white pine blister rust. However for most states, including Utah, the ban was lifted in 1966.

Why are currants not available? ›

Black currant ban, risks, and health benefits. Blackcurrant bushes were grown in America back in the 1629s, but in 1911, the professional cultivation of the plant was banned. It is a carrier of a fungus called white pine blister rust. Hence, blackcurrant was declared illegal to protect pine forests.

Why are currants hard to find? ›

According to Cornell University, currants were banned from cultivation in the U.S. in the early 1900s to stop the spread of a tree disease called white pine blister rust, a fungal disease that attacks both currants and white pine trees.

Are red currants in season? ›

Strings of tasty looking shiny red berries are available from June to late July, early September. The berries are spherical with vertical lines and often translucent skin which you can see the pips through. Wait until the berries are deep red as unripe ones are very sharp to taste.

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