No Patience Blackcurrant Jelly

When God was handing out patience I just couldn’t be bothered to stand in line and went off to have a fag behind the bike shed.

When it comes to cooking I therefore have to find quick and simple ways to produce good food or I get bored and end up with black chewy stuff stuck to the bottom of the pan … jam and jelly is no exception.

So you open a preserves book and start off with a shopping list the length of your arm … there’s a jam pan, jelly bag, a jam thermometer, jars, wax discs, citric acid, pectin, etc, etc.

That’s enough to put anyone off even trying … so this is how I do it and if I say so myself I make brilliant blackcurrant jelly (well if I don’t blow my own trumpet nobody else will).

Equipment (all found in any normal kitchen):

a large soup/stew pan (just use the biggest pan you have)

wooden spoon

jam jars with well fitting lids

small plate



measuring jug






knob of butter


Put the oven on to a medium high heat (don’t waste the oven and pop a pie or cake in to cook).

Wash the fruit well, it doesn’t matter about stalks as you will be removing the skins and pulp.

Add water until the fruit is only just covered and a knob of butter (the butter stops scum from forming on the top .. it may be an old wives tale but I never get scum forming so thanks for that tip Mum).

Simmer gently for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Carefully sieve the pulp from the juice (do not try to force it through the seive or squeeze the pulp or your jelly will get “bits” in and jelly should be clear), just let the juice run through (scrape the pulp out of the sieve before filling again). When you get the hang of it this will take 5 minutes, which is nowhere near the painful overnight wait of letting it run through a jelly bag.

Measure the juice, you will need 1 lb (0.5 kg) sugar for each pint (0.5 litre) of juice.

Pop the small plate into the fridge to cool and the jars into the oven to warm.

Put the juice back in the pan and heat gently adding the sugar, when the sugar is disolved turn the heat right up and boil the juice really hard.

After 10 minutes of boiling take your cooled plate from the fridge and with the teaspoon drop a spoon of juice onto the cold plate.

After 15 seconds run your finger through the cooled juice, if it is at setting point it will wrinkle slightly as you push it along, as though it has a very light skin on top … when this happens the jelly is at setting point so remove from heat immediately. Keep doing this every couple of minutes until you see the wrinkle effect.

Remove the warmed jars from the oven and fill using the ladel (BEWARE jelly is incredibly hot and can really burn you so work very carefully not to splash the jelly).

Wipe any spilled jelly from the sides of the jar and leave to completely cool.

Once totally cool (I always leave overnight) put a tight lid on the jar, stick a label on with the date and eat it within about 6 weeks.

When Jelly Goes Wrong:

Unlike cakes, where a disaster means the dog gets an extra meal and you start again, blackcurrant jelly is quite forgiving.

Most preserve books tell you that if you miss the setting point and keep boiling the jelly then it will never set, no matter what you do.

I disagree completely.

If your jars of jelly are still liquid the next morning then just pour it all back in the pan and re-boil it … start to test for setting point after just 3 minutes of boiling.

This isn’t a perfect solution as the more you boil jelly the less fruity and fresh it tastes but it does work (I had to learn the hard way).


I don’t measure anything other than how many pints of juice I get but if you’re not very brave then use 4lbs (2kg) blackcurrants and 3 pints (1.5 litres) water, then add 1 lb (0.5 kg) sugar for each pint of juice.

I don’t add pectin or gelatine, blackcurrants have a lot of natural pectin and if you simmer the fruit well and use the right amount of  sugar the jelly will set without a problem.

If you are going to pick your own blackcurrants then take along a fork, just place the stalks in the teeth of the fork and run the fork down the stalk gently, it’s much easier than crushing the fruit in your fingers.

Here’s the long version of the difference between jam and jelly but the quick version is jam is made with the whole fruit and jelly is made with the juice of fruit (a fruit like blackcurrants has a thick skin and lots of pulp so I prefer it in jelly form).

Making jelly is much easier than people believe or books make it sound, it has no colouring or preservatives so can be much healthier than shop bought jams.

Please let me know if you try the recipe and how it turns out and please enjoy making the no patience blackcurrant jelly.

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26 Responses to “No Patience Blackcurrant Jelly”

  1. (35 comments.) Says:

    Sounds delicious to me Sally.
    “A fag” is that what you did????
    Roy Norris´s last blog .. My ComLuv Profile

  2. Sam Says:

    Proof is in the tasting and I can honestly say that Sally’s blackcurrent jelly is the best I have ever tasted – its scrummy. :)

  3. Sally Says:

    Roy some childhood truth’s are best forgotten …. or at least blatantly lied about :) )

    Sam ….. blush ….. thank you.

  4. sue Says:

    Never made jam or jelly before and was a little nervous, however thanks to you recipe I have 7 lovely jars of black currant jelly.
    To top it all my mum says it reminds her of her childhood.
    Thanks again

  5. Sally Says:

    Hi Sue

    How brilliant that you gave it a go, well done. It’s really not as hard as people think is it.

    I’m so pleased to hear your Mum had a walk down memory lane, as a nation we have largely forgotten how “real” food tastes as supermarket food is so over processed now.

  6. Debbie from Driving School Croydon (1 comments.) Says:

    This looks so simple to do, thank you for sharing I will certainly be trying to make this jelly. The kids love it and will be fun for them to help to.

  7. Sally Says:

    Hi Debbie, please just be careful with the kids when making jam or jelly, it gets incredibly hot and i haved the scars to prove it but I’m sure they will have fun collecting, cleaning and soaking the fruit.

  8. Leo from Double Glazing Addington (1 comments.) Says:

    I love making my own jam and jelly, as a stay at home Dad I am always looking for ways to entertain the kids and I totally agree with Debbie lol

  9. sharon Says:

    i made blackcurrant and rasperyy jelly, and it has not set what do i do noe i used ordinary suar instead of pectin sugar is that the reason why? help

  10. Sally Says:

    Hi Sharon

    I use ordinary sugar so that is not the problem.

    One of two things has happened, you have boiled it past the setting point or it hadn’t reached setting point.

    Let it cool and pop it back in the pan and reboil. Keep checking for it to get to the boiling point (as described above) and fingers crossed you can rescue your jelly.

  11. mairead Says:

    I made blackcurrant jelly on Sunday evening and I put it into jars but did not set, it is now Monday night and I will not get a chance to reboil it again until Tuesday evening. Is this a good idea. will the jam actually set

  12. Sally Says:

    Hi Mairead

    You can but try. I have never left it more than 24 hours before reboiling, so I really can’t answer your question, sorry. Would be interested to know how it goes though.

  13. mairead Says:

    Hi Sally,

    Reboiled the jelly on Tuesday evening and put in 1 sachet of gelatine. This didn’t work . So I reboiled it on Wednesday evening and it set luckily enough. I think the problem was that I didn’t boil it for long enough the first time as I had too much in the saucepan. When I reboiled it I boiled it in amounts of about 2 pints per saucepan. Thank you for your help

  14. Sally Says:

    Hi Mairead

    Great news. Jams and jellies are far more forgiving than people think. Hope it tastes great after all your effort.

  15. Cathy Says:

    Ab fab recipe, made it with redcurrants as well as had both in the garden. It was really easy to follow and worked really well with a seive ( I was nearly going to buy a jelly bag! What a waste!) Brilliant and thank you!!

  16. Simon Says:

    Just picked about 10lbs of blackcurrants – not even I can eat that much cheesecake so I’m going to give your jelly a go – it sounds wonderful !

  17. Sally Says:

    Brilliant Simon, let us know how it goes.

    Remember the jars must be hot before you pour the jelly in. I’m still eating last years and am ready to make this years batch … isn’t growing your own great!!

  18. Sally Says:

    Hi Cathy

    Thank you and how brilliant that you saved some money. I don’t grow redcurrants but there’s always room in the garden for next year lol

  19. janet Says:

    far less complicated than my usual recipe. haven’t a clue how many blackcurrants I used but it’s made an awful lot. In the larder now with gooseberry jam and some of last years preserves that we’re still using.

  20. Freda Says:

    This is the easiest and tastiest blackcurrant jelly I have ever made. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe

  21. Sally Says:

    You’re welcome Freda and glad it was successful for you.

  22. Sally Says:

    Brilliant Janet. I am still eating last years blackcurrant jelly so it keeps well … sooo much better than the shop bought muck

  23. Simon Says:


    Thank you – absolutly great recipe – followed it to the letter
    and the result is perfect – set overnight as you
    said. Thanks again


    ps – can I compost the pulp ?

  24. Sally Says:

    Hi Simon

    Thanks for letting me know how it went and glad it was a success for you.

    I’ve never composted the pulp because it’s so sticky I worry about what it will attract but I can’t see any reason not to, it’s completely natural.

  25. Simon Says:

    Good point Sally – every wasp in loughborough’s
    birthday !!!!

  26. Sally Says:

    Now there’s a birthday party I wouldn’t want to attend lol

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