As the good weather continues the Blackcurrants are ready for picking. Usually I would cut off the branches and then pick the fruit from them en masse. This year however despite all the sunshine the fruit is ripening in stages. I suspect this is something to do with the garden being shaded for part of the day by the many trees. It makes the job a bit easier anyway as all the fruit doesn’t have to be harvested together.
The tree shade made it easier to pick in the scorching temperatures we’ve had all week. I moved as the sun moved…always seeking the shade. Thankfully rain is forecast for the week ahead. The garden needs it as the ground is already cracking.
These Blackcurrants need a good prune as I suspect they hadn’t been pruned for about 2 years. Lots of them planted here by the previous owners. My neighbour tells me the were all grown from cuttings taken from her garden. No clue as to the varieties but who cares so long as they produce a crop.
I find harvesting a relaxing pastime. What could be nicer…sitting in the shade picking your Vitamin C supply for the Winter ahead. Actually Blackcurrants are just as much a superfood as the much lauded Blueberry. They are full of antioxidants and are good for problems with joint inflammation, eyestrain and urinary tract infections.
As always Lettie is nearby when I’m in the garden. She too was seeking shade but not quite getting it right. Freddie doesn’t seem to like the Sun…he retreats to his bed when it’s very hot.
All the Blackcurrants are frozen…one kilo in each bag. This is enough to make 7 or 8 12oz pots of jam or 3 bottles of cordial. Time for all that when the harvesting is done. I sell my jams and chutneys to a few local shops and also at occasional markets I attend. I am sharing with you my recipe or Blackcurrant Jam. It uses less water than usual…just a pint…but this helps to give a stronger flavour jam that sets easily.
2lbs 4ozs Blackcurrants
1 pint water
3lbs 6ozs sugar
Place the Blackcurrants and water together in a large thick bottomed pan. Bring to the boil, reduce to simmer and cook until the fruit is softened. The contents of the pan should be reduced by half . Add the sugar. Stir well whilst bringing all to a full rolling boil. Boil hard until a set is obtained. Pot and seal whilst still hot.