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Easy Currant Preserves: Not Quite Bar-Le-Duc

July 22, 2009

Bar-Le-Duc is a jelly made from red and white currants. The labor-intensive process produces a caviar-like jelly. Jars of real Bar-Le-Duc jelly are expensive and hard to find these days. Fortunately, in the Midwest in July, fresh currants are easy to find at your local farmers’ market. The recipe below lacks the nuances and sophistication of a true Bar-Le-Duc, but it’s a delicious alternative that can be made in less than an hour.


1 pint red currants
1 pint white currants
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/3 cups water


  1. De-stem and rinse currants. (25 minutes)
  2. Combine currants, sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Use an emulsion blender to puree the currant mixture as it cooks.
  4. Once sugar has dissolved use a hand strainer to retrieve as many seeds as you can from the pan. (I managed to get approximately 90% of the seeds in 3-5 minutes.)
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
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