Recipe used with permission from The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia Bone
Few things are more healthful than a fresh cup of this vitamin C-rich juice in the morning, or, mixed with soda water and ice, a glass in the afternoon. For a less virtuous option, combine the juice with Guinness, hard cider, or lager beer.
Unfortunately, you can’t make anything from the currant mash left over from straining off the juice, as you can with raspberries: the seeds are prohibitively bitter. The timing for canning this juice comes from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
Makes ~3 Cups
- 2 lbs currants: black, red, white, or a combination.
- 4 cups water
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot, combine currants and water and bring to a boil over medium-low heat.
- Gently boil for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the juice from heat and let cool.
- Arrange your jelly bag or a sieve lined with two layers of cheesecloth over a deep pot. Wet the bag or cheesecloth so it doesn’t absorb any of the juice.
- Ladle the currant mash and water into the jelly bag and let juice drip through into the pot. (You aren’t supposed to squeeze the jelly bag because it can make the juice cloudy, but I do a little pressing anyway, to speed the process up, and have never had a problem.)
The juice is quite tart. You can reheat this juice with sugar to taste over medium heat, just long enough to dissolve the sugar.
Steps for Canning
- To can, have ready 3 half-pints jars and bands, with new lids that have been simmered in hot water to soften the rubberized flange. Pour the juice into the jars, leaving ¼ inch of headroom. Wipe rims, place on lids, and screw on bands fingertip tight.
- Process in a water bath for 15 minutes (see page 375). Be sure to make altitude adjustments when preserving (see page 389).