This, which is but an indifferent preserve when made in the usual way, will be found a very fine one if the following directions for it be observed; it will be extremely transparent and bright in colour, and will retain perfectly the flavour of the fruit Take the currants at the height of their season, the finest that can be had, free from dust, but gathered on a dry day; strip them with great care from the stalks, weigh and put them into a preserving-pan with three pounds of the best sugar reduced to powder to four pounds of the fruit; stir them gently over a brisk clear fire, and boil them quickly for exactly eight minutes from the first full boil. As the jam is apt to rise over the top of the pan, it is better not to fill it more than two thirds, and if this precaution should not be sufficient to prevent it, it must be lifted from the fire and held away for an instant. To many tastes, a still finer jam than this (which we find sufficiently sweet) may be made with an equal weight of fruit and sugar boiled together for seven minutes.
There should be great exactness with respect to the time, as both the flavour and the brilliant colour of the preserve will be injured by longer boiling.
Red currants (without stalks), 4 lbs.; fine sugar, 3 lbs.: boiled quickly, 8 minutes. Or, equal weight fruit and sugar: 7 minutes.
The fruit for this jelly should be very white, perfectly free from dust, and picked carefully from the stalks. To every pound add eighteen ounces of double refined sifted sugar, and boil them together quickly for six minutes; throw in the strained juice of a sound fresh lemon, or of two, should the quantity of preserve be large; boil it two minutes longer; pour it into a delicately clean sieve, and finish it by the directions given for the Norman red currant jelly (page 338).
White currants, 6 lbs.; highly refined sugar, 6 3/4 lbs.: 6 minutes. Juice of 2 moderate-sized lemons: 2 minutes.
Boil together quickly for seven minutes equal quantities of fine white currants, picked with the greatest nicety, and of the best sugar pounded and passed through a sieve. Stir the preserve gently the whole time, and be careful to skim it thoroughly. Just before it is taken from the fire, throw in the strained juice of one good lemon to four pounds of the fruit.
White currants, 4 lbs.; best sugar, 4 lbs.: 7 minutes. Juice, 1 lemon.
Stalk and heat some red currants as for jelly, pour off three parts of the juice, which can be used for that preserve, and press the remainder, with the pulp of the fruit, closely through a hair-sieve reversed; boil it briskly, keeping it stirred the whole time, until it forms a dry paste; then for each pound (when first weighed) add seven ounces of pounded sugar, and boil the whole from twenty-five to thirty minutes longer, taking care that it shall not burn. This paste is remarkably pleasant and refreshing in cases of fever, and acceptable usually for winter-desserts.
Red currants boiled from 5 to 7 minutes, pressed with one-fourth of their juice through a sieve, boiled from 1 1/2 to 2 hours. To each pound add 7 ozs. pounded sugar: 25 to 30 minutes.
Confectioners add the pulp, after it is boiled dry, to an equal Weight of sugar at the candy height: by making trial of the two methods, the reader can decide on the better one.
After having extracted the juice of the fruit in the usual way, proceed exactly with regard to the time of boiling, and the proportion of sugar as in the first receipt for red currant jelly in the present chapter. This is a most refreshing and useful preserve in illness; and in many cases no other will supply its place: it may be made with Lisbon sugar on occasion.