The thing about old cookbooks (I have a few from the 1930s-50s; I love them) is that they assume you already know your way around making jellies. They also all seem to assume that you are a farmer who has bushels of the kind of produce you want to prepare. So I had some translating to do, and the following recipe is the fruit of my labor. (HA! Literally.)
|Glowing because the window is right behind it.|
Red Currant Jelly
(For 1 pint of currants, which makes a little over 1 cup of jelly. Can be scaled up!)
1 pint red currants
1/2 to 3/4 cup of sugar
First, we're going to turn the currants into currant juice. Wash them well, pick out any bruised/moldy ones, but you don't have to separate them from the stem. Place in a pan with just enough water that they don't burn. (Water up to 1/4 the amount of currants is the max). Cook them over medium heat until the berries start to lose their color, 10-15 minutes.
Measure the juice. It should be about 1 cup, but it's okay if it's scant! Basically, for each cup of juice you want a scant 3/4 cup of sugar (technically 1/2 Cup plus 2 Tbsp). So if you don't quite have a cup, just use a couple tablespoons less sugar. We're not going to can this jelly, so honestly, getting the proportions exactly right is not that big a deal. So anyway, put the juice and sugar into a pan over medium heat.
Stir this jelly mixture constantly until it reaches the jelly stage: 220 F. (If you don't have a cooking thermometer, you can figure out when it's reached the jelly stage by using a metal spoon to take a spoonful. Let it cool for a moment, then pour it back into the pan. If two separate drops form at the same time on the side of the spoon, so that it's dripping back from 2 parts of the spoon, not 1, it has hit the jelly stage. Start checking after 5 minutes of boiling.) This took me 15-20 minutes of simmering, but I think this depends on your cookware and on your stove's definition of "medium."
Remove from heat, and voila! You have made red currant jelly!