Red Currant Straining Problems

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pinkcake98
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Red Currant Straining Problems

Postby pinkcake98 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:05 am

I've never made jelly before and this year is first attempt making red currant jelly. I picked 4lbs of red currants from local farm and heated them as per my recipe with 1 cup of water for around 20 minutes to release juices then put them in a dampened strainer overnight. As per recipe I came down expecting 5 cups of ruby red strained currant juice...
Instead I awoke to a measly 1.5 cups of seemingly cloudy currant juice??
I didn't squeeze the strainer bag, although am tempted to do so now to get a little more juice out!

Any thoughts on what could have gone wrong?
And is there something else I can do to try and recover more of the currant juice? like adding more water and cooking remaining mush in the strainer bag again to get more juice out?
1.5 cups of juice feels highly disappointing for the 1.5 hours it took me to pick 4 lbs!!

Photos of my cloudy currant juice and remaining currants attached.
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John
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Re: Red Currant Straining Problems

Postby John » Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:57 pm

Hello PC98
The problem may be with your recipe. I cup of water to 4lb fruit isn't enough. There don't seem to be any rules on the ratio of fruit to water with jellies but I simply put the fruit into a pan and just add enough liquid to barely cover the fruit then boil to a pulp.
As for the cloudy result after straining unless you are going to put your jelly into a show I don't think it really matters. I like to give the bag a good squeeze and prefer a cloudy result. For really clear strained juice use a thick cotton bag - these nylon ones are more like fine sieves and won't give a clear liquid.
Once you have your juice just use 1 pint of it to 1 lb sugar and boil to setting point. Be careful as US pints and pounds are not the same.
Hope this this helps
John
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pinkcake98
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Re: Red Currant Straining Problems

Postby pinkcake98 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:24 pm

Hello John,
Thank you so much for your advice! I decided to throw the contents of the strainer back into a pot and added a few more cups of water and cooked it a bit more based on your tips and it worked perfectly! Plus after giving the bag a good squeeze I ended up with 5 cups of currant juice and now my jelly is in its jars and cooling but i got a good taste while filling up the jars and it's delicious!! So glad i didn't end up tossing the lot in frustration.
Thank you again for helping me save my jelly!
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Primrose
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Re: Red Currant Straining Problems

Postby Primrose » Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:28 am

I think getting a reasonable amount of juice from soft fruit is always problematical as people and recipes have widely different notions of the amount of water to be added. and you have to decide whether you're going for a non squeezing method of the pulp and letting the juice drip naturally, or squeezing to get the maximum.

That's why these days I opt for making syrup from my soft fruit. I can't be faffed with the overnight slow drip process. I opt for a really good squeeze of the jelly bag to get the maximum liquid out of it, and then you just add sugar to make up the syrup. As John as said, unless you're producing produce for a Show, cloudiness doesn't really matter and you obviously want to make the most of the product you've picked otherwise it's hardly worth the trouble..
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