I finished making my first batches of jam of the year last week. Aside from black currant, my favorite which I make each year, I use whatever I have on hand.
Since elderberries, gooseberries, sour cherries and most white currants were eaten by birds, that left red currants (Rovada) and Boysenberries. I wouldn’t have any red currants (or at least, not enough to be useful), except I did a bad job of controlling a wild grape vine. By the time I pulled the vine off of the large Rovada bush, the currents were turning ripe. Evidentially, it also kept the birds from noticing them. I picked the ripest half (about a quart) from the bush. When I came back a few days later, it was stripped clean.
The boysenberries have been gradually ripening, so I’ve been picking a hand-full each day for 1-2 weeks. Each time I eat the ripest while picking and the rest of them get tossed them in the fridge.
35 oz of Boysenberry
15 oz of Rovada red currants (after removing stems)
25 oz of sugar (1 oz fruit to 0.62 oz sugar)
End result is 5 jars of jam and a happy (but evil looking) daughter. I told her that she looked like a witch over her cauldron…
After she went to bed, I made the black currant jam. After all, why cleanup twice.
54 oz of black currants (many picked on 7/4 and starting to shrivel in the fridge after 2 weeks)
40 oz sugar (1 oz fruit to 0.74 oz sugar)
The end result was 9 jars of jam, I’ve already started on the first and this may be the best I’ve made (or it’s been a while since I’ve had any). One of the things that struck me was how much less jam I need on each spoonful of unsweetened yogurt (whole milk Siggis is best). The jam is so strong that you don’t rely on the sugar to provide flavor.
I looked back historically and the amount of sugar I’ve used for black currant jam is (oz sugar per oz fruit):
.93 in 2014
.77 in 2016
I’ve made it for at least 5 years, but I was only able to fine notes about those 2. But it seems this ear was on the low end from a sugar perspective. I did try to remove all the stems and the under-ripe berries, so that probably helped with the flavor.
Assuming that I protect them from animals, I’ll probably made peach and hardy kiwi jam later in the year. Peach because everyone else seems to like it. And kiwi because I thought it was pretty good. And because kiwi vines can produce more than I can quickly consume…