I love trying new fruits and veggies. While I love the uniq fruit and pepino melon that will soon be discussed in this post, I recently gave red currants a whirl and couldn’t stand their taste raw. Not wanting them to go to waste, I looked online for inspiration. I saw many recipes for red currant jam, and eventually decided to create a jam of my own.
Since the overwhelming bitterness of the red currants was what my taste buds couldn’t handle, I added raspberries for sweetness. Furthermore, I added lemon juice so the acidity from the lemon would balance out the bitterness of the currants. Additionally, lemon juice is a great choice for jams, as it contains pectin and eliminates having to add processed pectin to help solidify the jam.
Had I known that making small-batch jam could be this simple, I would have started making my own jams a long time ago. I’m not into canning, as I’m not into anything in the kitchen that requires a bunch of tools and steps. Given that the small amount of jam that this recipe yields will be consumed far before it has a chance to spoil, sterilizing the jar isn’t really necessary. Plus, as there are so many wonderful jams to be made, it doesn’t make sense to me to make jars upon jars upon jars of the same jam.
Although the aforementioned uniq fruit and pepino melon are unrelated to this post aside from being photographed with the jam, I’m going to give them a short plug. I discovered these while shopping at Whole Foods, and asked a gentleman working there if he’d tried either. He said no, but asked me if I would like to try them. What?! Of course I do! As it turns out, Whole Foods will let you try any of their products without any pressure to buy. Score.
Anyway, uniq fruit, also known as ugli fruit, is native to Jamaica. It is a citrus fruit that has a beautiful, yellow-green ombre outer. To eat, hand peel and break into wedges like most other citrus fruits. Uniq fruit is an orange, tangerine, and grapefruit hybrid, and that’s exactly what it tastes like. Delightfully sweet and tart all in one… yum!
Now, onto the pepino melon, also known as pepino dulce, which translates to “sweet cucumber.” Native to South America, this fruit has a lovely, pastel yellow outer with vibrant purple stripes. If a honeydew melon and cucumber had a baby, pepino melon would be it. I absolutely love it. It’s mildly sweet and so refreshing. Given how much I love both honeydew melon and cucumbers, I’m amazed that it took me this long to discover this scrumptious little fruit.
Top: pepino melon. Bottom: uniq fruit.
And, without further adieu, the recipe…
What you’ll need:
- 1 pint red currants, de-stemmed
- 1 pint raspberries
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup pure cane sugar
What you’ll do:
- In a fine mesh strainer, thoroughly rinse the currants and raspberries; transfer to a medium pot; add lemon juice and mash with a potato masher
- On high heat, bring to a boil for about two minutes; then, stir in the sugar and boil for another two minutes
- Pour into a half-pint jar and allow to cool before applying the lid and storing in the refrigerator
Note: This jam is more on the tart side. If you prefer a sweeter jam, forgo the fresh lemon juice and double the amount of sugar. Yields enough to fill a half-pint jar.