The jam was violently red while boiling away, and then turned a satisfying black.
- 1.8 kg (4 lbs) blackcurrants
- 2 ½ cups white sugar
- pint or so of water
- large, heavy-bottomed pan
- 6 jam jars
- cookie sheet
- ladle or jam funnel
Decant blackcurrants into a heavy-bottomed pan that will allow for evaporation. Add water to about half the level of the berries; they will cook down. Add sugar. Cook whole business down until it is pretty thick—we left a little bit of syrup so that the fruit would have a little suspension. In the meantime, wash jars and lids in soapy water. Sterilize the lids by dipping them in boiling water and allowing them to air dry. Sterilize the jars by placing them (opening up) on a cookie sheet covered in paper towels, and allowing to dry in an oven set to 160°C / 320°F.
When the jam is at a consistency that you’re happy with—highly reduced but still wet—carefully spoon it into the sterilized jars, making sure that there are no air bubbles among the fruit. Put on their lids and allow them to cool. As they cool, they will vacuum seal. If you have any doubt at all when you open the jars months later, or if they smell at all odd, throw it away! There’s no shame. There is shame in killing yourself by jam though.
Make sure to bring some jam to work to share and brag about, omitting any mention of how easy this is.