I know, I know, it’s actually too early in the year to call any pantry-raid/-cleaning related endeavors “Spring Cleaning” just yet, but well, this Winter has taken a toll on my supplies and “cleaning out” was basically just a matter of opening the window for some fresh air.
One of the very few things that actually managed to escape my notice over the last couple of months was a single jar of something dark, hiding in the shadows of one of the lower shelves… a jar of one of my favorite jams of all times, my Blackcurrant & Pastis Jam~! With the blackcurrant season being as short as it has been during the last few years in mind, I took this discovery as an off-season reminder to Be Prepared~! Once the season actually hits again – and, of course, to give you guys an idea of what you could do with these delicious little edible black diamonds once they appear on the market in your corner of the world~!
The Blackcurrant & Pastis Jam
1kg Blackcurrants, gently removed from their stalks with the help of a fork
1 PK (350g of 3:1 Jam Sugar – I experimented with a „refined sugar free“ fruit sugar alternative and it worked out fantastically. If the sugar-/baking section of your local supermarket has something similar on offer, give it a go!
2 Tbsp Crème de Cassis
3-4 Tbsp Pastis – don’t worry about the voltage in these 2 ingredients, it’ll poof out long before the jam makes it’s way into the jars, leaving behind only the fruity and anisey flavors~
2 Strips of Lemon Peel
½ Tsp Vanilla Extract
1) Add the berries to a large pot and turn the heat to high.
2) Allow them to come up to a boil while stirring every once n a while, then immediately turn the heat down to medium.
3) Once the bubble has calmed down, add the booze and lemon peels and leave the lot to simmer away for 15-20 mins on medium heat.
4) Remove the lemon peels and strain ½ (my way, I’m lazy and I like fruity chunks) all or none of the proto-jam through a sieve to remove the seeds (and a good deal of flavor, sadly, along with them) It’s a question of preference, really, so go with whatever you need to do to end up with exactly what you like on your bread/scone/yoghurt… spoon.
5) Set the fruit purée back onto medium heat.
6) At this point, you could add another swig of Pastis or a few Aniseeds if a very careful test-drop of the jam tells you it needs another lift in that area.
7) Pop in the sugar and keep stirring until it has dissolved completely.
8) Sterilize the jars and all of the tools you need to handle them as well as the jam itself.
9) Transfer the jam into the jars while it’s still hot, seal them and flip them over onto the lids for about 5 mins.
10) Set them upright again and stash them away in a cool, dark cupboard. And then hide one in an even darker and cooler spot so you might find a spot of bright delight in the darkest months of the year~!
11) Unless you botched the sterilizing process, this jam will keep fresh and delicious for 6-8 months. Or until you find it and go to town with a spoon in one and a tub of yoghurt or another treat/jam-carrier in the other hand.