Sunday, September 11, 2011

White Currant Jam for Weekend Herb Blogging #300

White Currants

White currants, which are technically albino, are such a rare treat that I never expected to happen upon them.  It's hard enough to find red currants or gooseberries, either green or red, which are in the same family of fruit.  Should you see any of these lovely little berry-like baubles, grab them while you can.  I can promise you will not see them again if you overlook them the first time.

What strikes me as most magical about white currants is the natural dye in the red seeds which tints the jam to a soft, fleshy pink.  As an added enticement, currants have a naturally high pectin content which sets virtually immediately.   It is the perfect complement to fill a simple Victorian sponge; spread lightly on a delicate ladyfinger; drizzle on vanilla ice cream; twirl into some whipped cream for a fool; or just zip a knife's edge of it over your morning toast. 

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White Currant Jam - A basic recipe that requires no adapted embellishments.

Ingredients

1 cup currants, rinsed and plucked from their stems.  (Any currant or gooseberry will make a fine jam.)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups water

Method 

In a medium saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low.  Simmer fruit until it collapses and a slight syrupy texture begins to form.  Remove from heat.  Turn mixture into a large strainer placed over a large bowl.  With a wooden spoon, press and rub fruit mixture through strainer to separate from the seed and peel solids.  Discard solids.  Mixture will set almost immediately while still warm.  Transfer to refrigerator to cool.  Makes approximately 1 cup.  You can double or triple the recipe without any adjustments.
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This late-summer sweet is for Simona of Briciole, hosting Weekend Herb Blogging #300 for Haalo of Cook Almost Anything at Least Once. Simona will be putting up her round-up either tonight or tomorrow. Do stop by to see all the amazing recipes which she is organizing for this long-running event that continues to attract with its loyal following.

21 comments:

  1. I loved the pictures Susan. Especially the one on black background. I have not seen currants at all here anywhere, just dried ones.

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  2. I have seen white currants a couple of times but never bought them. I'm so used to the red ones that it sort of seems wrong to buy ones that look unripe. Lol. But this looks very pretty!

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  3. A splendid jam! I've never esten white currants, only the red variety...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  4. I never seen white currants, jam looks super glossy..

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  5. One of the first books I've read in German was about white currants - 'Der Geschmack von Apfelkernen' by Katharina Hagena. In the book, a young girl dies and all of a sudden, the red and black curants growing in the garden turn white. The sister of the dead person would make whitecurrant jam every year and say how it looked like a jam of tears. It is kind of a sad book but also very sweet, and I've always wanted to make that jam myself. Beautiful pictures.

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  6. this jam looks superb love the first picture of these beautiful currant looks like marbles :)

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  7. I am trying to think hard if I ever saw white currants.... but I don't think that I did. Rare indeed! The jam looks great :-)

    ciao
    Alessandra

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  8. I have been searching in vain for currants and gooseberries the whole time I've lived in Kansas. I guess it's time to purchase some property and plant some of my own--seems like the only way to get my hands on them! The jam and the currents themselves are so beautiful. I love the jam next to your depression glass!

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  9. Thanks, Champa. There is great drama in the one glowing against black. You won't find any currants or gooseberries here often at all. The dried ones, however, are ideal in scones.

    Welcome, Simone! Actually the whites are not unripe but an albino mutation; they will never turn red. Their jam will produce that very same distinctive sweet-tart flavor. Yes, they are pretty, unexpectedly so. (And they are adored as garnishes.) Thanks for your kind words.

    Rosa - Thanks. I never saw them before this summer, either.

    Thanks, Priya. The gloss is one of its greatest appeals.

    Rosa - Thank you. I shall track down "Der Geschmack von Apfelkernen," hoping for an English translation. The story has that typically lyrical and sublime reality that we are one with nature often found in the philosophies of European literature.

    Akheela - Thank you. They are quite arresting and ethereal.

    Alessandra - Thanks. So rare, it actually took me years to find even the red ones.

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  10. Beautiful pictures. I have never seen white currents before, nor I have any hope of spotting it here anytime soon, so your pictures are a virtual treat for me. Like Akeela said, they really look like marbles! Awesome.

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  11. I think i have seen the white currants only once. They are so beautiful. Those they look pale the jam has a pinkish hue!

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  12. Vowwww!! Jam looks adorable...PIcs are fab...especially 1st one..
    i never noticed this..

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  13. Your jam has the loveliest pale pink-peach blush! So pretty!

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  14. Rajani - Thank you. The photos will be a virtual treat for me, too. I have no idea if I'll ever find these again.

    Soma - They are beauties. That pink is not Photoshopped, either.

    Thank you, Soujanya. : )

    Hi, Kyleen! Thanks for your kind words.

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  15. That jam looks stunning! I have never encountered white currants - my friend here in Serbia grows red and black currants, and i made some jam earlier in the year (my dad has a gooseberry tree on his "ranch" and we never know what to do with the fruit).
    I have to tell you that I have not seen a prettier jar of jam in my life! And now I am intrigued!

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  16. I have lived in my current house for 3 years and I acutally have a white currant bush! I never knew what to do with them a the family just snacked on some and the rest just fell. This year I decided to do something with them. Like you mentioned our family calls them gooseberries. I also had no clue they were so rare. I guess from now on I will be making jam every year!

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  17. Just went up to the chalet in Switzerland and picked a small pail of white currants and gooseberries. Thanks for the recipe! Cheers!

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  18. We bought what we thought was a red currant bush a couple years ago... lo and behold it was a WHITE currant bush. For the last two years I've just been freezing them, or throwing them in muffins, pancakes or fruit crisps. This year I wanted to make jam! Thank you so much for the recipe and pictures. :)

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  19. When you do find some berries it would probably be worth sowing some (unboiled obviously) seeds in the Spring to grow your own bushes.

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  20. Just made a tiny jar of this with the currants from my single white currant bush. First time I managed to get them before the birds! The colour is really beautiful and the flavour is delicious. Thanks for this lovely recipe.

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  21. I live in the UK & at my local 'pick your own' fruit farm theres been abundant bushes of white, red & blackcurrants. A 'bumper crop' year. Hardly any white berries taken though. I'm now off to clear at least one whiteberry bush and make jam!

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