Summer Berries again………Mixed Currant and Lavender Jelly

Mixed Currant Jelly with Lavender
Sunday 10th July 2011 
Dimanche 10 Juillet 2011 ~ St Ulrich
I have had a bumper year in the garden with all of my currant bushes ~ I have two blackcurrant bushes, one white currant bush and three redcurrant bushes and they have all been VERY prolific, providing me with lots of work (!) as well as some delicious ways of serving them this summer……..however, all good things come to an end and they are just going out of season now, which, is fine with me, as I am looking forward to harvesting my raspberries and strawberries now!
Mixed Berries and Currants
But, a wee problem has emerged ~ what to do with the last few bits and bobs of the currants ~ there are not quite enough to make a proper dish with them, and it is a shame to add them to other fruits, so I came up with a solution ~ make some jelly! I devised this recipe two years ago, (My recipe and photos ware previously published in Country Kitchen, an English magazine that I sometimes write articles for) and the recipe is perfect for now, as I have the currants, I have the lavender and I think I have the time, blimey ~ that doesn’t happen often!
Mixed Currant Jelly with Lavender
This jelly is amazing when served with cheese, charcuterie and cold cuts ~ in fact, if I had more currants I would make more jars to lay down for the winter months as well as the Christmas and New Year festivities, as it would be brilliant on the festive buffet table.The colour encapsulates all that is wonderful about summer and the beautiful produce from my garden……..vibrant and ruby red, this makes a pretty preserve to serve with any cheese board.
This jelly is FABULOUS when served with cheese!
Anyway, that’s enough gassing for now! Here is the recipe for my wonderful ruby red Mixed Currant Jelly with Lavender; if you don’t have any lavender, never mind, this is JUST as good when made with JUST the currants! If you have plenty of currants handy ~ why not make a few jars for winter, Christmas and the New Year, as well as gifts for your fab foodie friends!
Mixed Currant and Lavender Jelly

Another concoction of mine born of necessity when I was left with small amounts of white, red and black currants! This tangy jelly has a few lavender flowers added towards the end, for an intriguing and delightful flavour. I have discovered that it marries beautifully with lamb, game and cheese. I see no reason why it cannot be used in desserts and cakes as well. I have not stipulated quantities, as this all depends on the amount of juice you extract to sugar ratio, an easy recipe according to what you have available in the currants department! (Avoid using too many black currants, as they have a very pervasive flavour!)
Ingredients:
Mixed currants: white, red and black currants
Water
Preserving sugar
1 lemon, juice of
Lavender flowers
Directions:
1. Wash or wipe the currants, and drain. No need to top and tail them, or indeed strip them form the stalks! Weigh them and allow half pint of water (150ml) to every 1 lb (450g) in weight of currants.
2. Put them into a pan and simmer them until very soft and pulpy.
3. Strain them through a sieve or jelly bag overnight. Do NOT push the fruit through the sieve, as you will have cloudy jelly!
4. Measure the juice and allow 1 lb (450g) of sugar to every 1 pint (600ml). Pour the juice into a preserving pan, add the juice of 1 lemon and heat gently.
5. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Then bring it to the boil and boil rapidly until the setting point is reached. Add the lavender flowers – about 1 teaspoon, or more to taste.  Stir the flowers into the jelly and remove any scum.
6. Pot and seal whilst still hot. Keeps for up to 2 years in a cool, dark and dry place.
See you all later ~ we are out for dinner tonight, but I should be back tonight with more musings, recipes and photos!

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