The summer is always so busy for us here at Castleton House. Mainly because we have so many visitors coming to stay while the days are long and the unpredictable English weather is most likely to be better behaved; and also because our garden keeps us on our toes. Not only do we have the garden at the back of the house but also an allotment which is a five minute walk away, in July and August it’s a constant battle trying to pick all the soft fruit and then of course to eat or preserve it. This year we’ve had a bumper crop of soft fruit and I’ve just made a huge batch of black currant jam which should see us through until next spring. Because of the high pectin levels in black currants the jam sets easily and it’s simple to make -and so I thought I’d share the recipe with you
2lbs (900 g) blackcurrants, strings removed. 3lbs (1.4 Kg) sugar
Place the fruit in a large preserving pan with the sugar and then with a carving fork stab the fruit through the sugar to burst as many currants as you can. Leave overnight.
Place the pan on a gentle heat and bring slowly to the boil, once the sugar is disolved boil hard for three minutes or until setting point is reached.
Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Stir to distribute the fruit and disolve the skin before putting into sterilised jars. Cover and store until required.