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Black Currant Jam

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The best black currant jam recipe! Flavorful preserves making the most of these great summer berries.

Black currant recipe

An excellent jam that you probably can’t buy anywhere, so it’s better to learn how to make it yourself. The flavors are unique, different than any other jam you’ve tasted, black currants have their particular flavor, and you can really make the most of it in this recipe.

close up black currant preserves with a spoon in it.

Tart, but not as tart as red currants, slightly bitter, but not so much so as to put you off, with deep earthy notes, somehow “hearty” and “smokey,” if you can actually use these words when talking about berries.

They are a real superfood containing much more Vitamin C than oranges and more antioxidants than blueberries.

The only drawback about them is that they are pretty tricky to buy. You might get lucky at the farmer’s market (if it’s a large, good one), but I have never seen them sold in the supermarket or anywhere else. That’s why I’ve planted a bush in the garden.

And should you have a glut of black currants, you could also make Crème de Cassis, Freezer Jam, Cordial, No-Churn Ice Cream, Cake, or Muffins.

collage of two pictures of a jar of preserved black currants.

What do you need?

  • Black currants: about 500 g/ 1.1 lb/ 3 ½ cups. I mostly weigh them rather than measure them in cups. Between 3 ½ and 4 ½ cups should be ok (See Tips).
  • Sugar: we love this jam when made with only 350 g / 12 oz/ 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar. The jam is sweet, but you will have more of that fantastic berry taste. However, if you like it very sweet, you can increase the sugar to up to 500 g/ 1.1 lb/ 2 ½ cups.
  • Lemon juice: freshly squeezed
  • Water
black currants in a bowl, a lemon and a bowl of sugar.

How to make black currant jam?

  1. Prepare berries: Rinse thoroughly in a sieve. Remove the stems. Set aside.
  2. Sugar syrup: Bring the water and the sugar to a boil on medium-low heat.
  3. Cook: Add the berries, bring to a boil and cook on medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until the jam reaches about 104 degrees Celsius/ 220 degrees Fahrenheit (or 102 degrees Celsius/ 216 degrees Fahrenheit for an altitude of approximately 300 m/ 1000 feet or more). Use a digital instant read thermometer (Amazon affilate link).
  4. Transfer to sterilized jars using a jam funnel (Amazon affiliate link).

collage of two pictures of berries in sugar syrup and then cooked in a large pot.

How long to cook the preserves?

It depends on the altitude; the higher the altitude, the lower the gel point temperature of the preserves.

  • Sea level – 104 C/ 220 F
  • 300 m/ 1000 feet – 102 C/ 216 F
  • 900 m/ 3000 feet – 101 C/ 214 F
  • 1200 m/ 4000 feet – 100 C/ 212 F
  • 1500 m/ 5000 feet – 99 C/ 211 F
  • 1800 m/ 6000 feet – 98 C/ 209 F
  • 2100 m/ 7000 feet – 97 C/ 207 F

jam in a jar with a spoon in it overhead view.

Do you need to can it?

I usually don’t bother with this amount; the recipe yields only three small jars of about 250 – 300 ml/ 1 – 1 1/4 cup, which I prefer to keep in the fridge.

If you make a larger batch, use the water bath canning method and process the jars for 10 minutes. Then, carefully remove from the water bath using a jar lifter. Place on a folded kitchen towel and leave, undisturbed, until completely cool. Store in a dark, cool place.

close up overhead view of shiny preserves in a jar.

Tips

I prefer to weigh the berries rather than measure them in cups; the black currants growing in my garden don’t have a consistent size, some are what I would call a regular size, but many are very small. And you will be amazed how different the results are if you try to google this gram amount converted into cups; it goes from 2 to 5 cups, which is quite a lot.

The jam will foam at the beginning. However, most of the foam will disappear during the cooking process; remove what’s left with a spoon before ladling the preserves into jars.

jar of jam and black currants in a bowl, many leaves around them.

How long to keep the black currant preserves?

Jars canned in a water bath will keep for about one year in a dark, cool place like a cellar. The refrigerated jam will keep for 4-5 months. Once you open a jar, consume in about two weeks.

More berry jams:

small jar of berry jam with a spoon in it and many leaves around it.
jam in a jar with a spoon in it overhead view.

Black Currant Jam

Unique black currant jam made without pectin and so full of flavor!
4.6 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Preserves/Canning Recipes
Cuisine: German
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 3 small jars
Calories: 559kcal
Author: Adina

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb black currants Note 1
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar Note 2
  • scant 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Instructions

  • Prepare: Rinse the black currants in a sieve. Remove the stems.
  • Cook: Place sugar and water into a pot. Bring to a boil on medium-low heat. Add berries and lemon juice, bring to a boil again. Cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until the jam reaches about 104 degrees Celsius/ 220 degrees Fahrenheit (or 102 degrees Celsius/ 216 degrees Fahrenheit for an altitude of approximately 300 m/ 1000 feet or more). (Note 3).
  • Jars: Remove what’s left from the foam with a spoon. Transfer the jam to sterilized jars.
  • Can: For a longer shelf-life, can in a water bath for 10 minutes; it will keep for about 1 year. Or refrigerate the jam; it will keep for at least 4 months.

Notes

  1. I prefer to weigh the berries rather than measure them in cups; the black currants growing in my garden don’t have a consistent size, some are what I would call a regular size, but many are very small. And you will be amazed how different the results are if you try to google this gram amount converted into cups; it goes from 2 to 5 cups, which is quite a lot.
  2. You can increase the sugar up to 500 g/ 1.1 lb/ 2 ½ cups if you wish. However, I don’t recommend it unless you have a very sweet tooth. I love the slightly bitter tartness of the black currants.
  3. If you cook it for about 10 minutes, the jam will have a runnier consistency. If you cook it for about 15 minutes, it will be thicker, like mine in the pictures. The cooking time depends on the pan's width; the wider the pot, the sooner the jam will be ready.
  4. Altitude and gel point:
  • Sea level – 104 C/ 220 F
  • 300 m/ 1000 feet – 102 C/ 216 F
  • 900 m/ 3000 feet – 101 C/ 214 F
  • 1200 m/ 4000 feet – 100 C/ 212 F
  • 1500 m/ 5000 feet – 99 C/ 211 F
  • 1800 m/ 6000 feet – 98 C/ 209 F
  • 2100 m/ 7000 feet – 97 C/ 207 F

Nutrition

Serving: 1jar from 3 | Calories: 559kcal | Carbohydrates: 143g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 5mg | Sugar: 117g
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