Blackcurrant Preserve – No Heating

With bad cold and flu season this winter the issue of high vitamin C preserves became of serious importance. The one preserve we always used to have at home many years ago, was a simple one, made from minced fresh blackcurrants mixed in even proportion with sugar. We made it during the season and kept it in the fridge until the next season crop.

We are fortunate enough to have an exceptionally good greengrocer in our area. They were getting for me frozen berries which is hard to find in supermarkets, especially sour cherries and black currants. Now, with the relocation to the new, larger store, I did not even had to order black currants, they are regular stock now in the freezer section.

I make this preserve for us with regular sugar, but for this blog used pure glucose to make it suitable for people who do not tolerate sucrose (the chemical term for regular sugar).

As glucose is less sweet compared to sugar, with 1:1 ratio berries to glucose, blackcurrant preserve retains some tartness from berries and is not as sweet as when sugar is used. There is practically no recipe to write. Only 2 ingredients are used – black currants, fresh or frozen, and the equivalent weight in glucose, which is usually sold under the name of dextrose.

Ingredients:

  • 300 g black currants, I used frozen
  • 300g glucose powder

Preparation:

  • thaw berries, if using frozen
  • place berries and fructose powder in a bowl of food processor
  • process on high, stop several times to scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary
  • alternatively you can blend berries first and add glucose later
  • process until the thick mixture forms with some larger pieces of berries still there
  • transfer the mixture to another, preferably glass bowl, and let it rest until all glucose powder is dissolved, stir occasionally

This process might take several hours in cold environment, you can speed it up by placing the bowl in a warmer environment, either in slightly warm oven or in a larger bowl with warm water. When glucose is fully dissolved, the mixture changes its colour and texture. It becomes more runny and deeper, vibrant colour develops. At this stage the mixture can be jarred and stored refrigerated.

However, if a more fine texture of the preserve is desired, the use of stick blender allows to achieve it. Fully thawed berries take less time to process and dissolve sweetener, both glucose powder or regular sugar. I want to mention another, less obvious use of blackcurrant preserve. One tea spoon of the preserve in a cup/glass with boiling water gives caffeine free aromatic and refreshing drink, which I often use instead of commercial herbal tea. Two tea spoons make the drink pure indulgence.

8 thoughts on “Blackcurrant Preserve – No Heating

  1. That’s a really good point about vitamin C in Winter. I always try to keep my fruit intake high to stave off colds and flu, sadly others don’t and I end up surrounded by sick people! As always I can’t help admiring the photos, they make everything look even more delicious. I’m hoping to gather some fresh blackberries soon, there’s an abandoned railway-line where they’re available in abundance nearby. I already have a batch of raspberry and blackcurrant juice stored in the freezer for jelly making later in the year. I’ll look forward to seeing how you’ll make use of this beautiful, vibrant preserve in future recipes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I made this preserve on two occasions to go to two different households, one as vitamin C source to prevent and fight colds, and the second as a source of iron as well, to help in restoring iron level. We enjoyed leftovers, but as I can get more berries any time now, I plan to make presents for Christmas as jams with intact berries. Working with already pitted sour cherries excites me the most.
      This preserve will be a nice addition to dairy and egg free ice cream when the heat comes.

      Liked by 1 person

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