Fruit in the Spotlight: Currants

July 27, 2023 by General Administrator

The pick-your-own offer for produce share members has been underway for a good few weeks now, and the current abundance is in currants with all three colours being ready for picking. The red and white currants (known in the Tudor period as jewel fruits on account of how they look) offer quick rewards as they’re best picked as ‘chandeliers’ – it’s not only easy to fill a tub this way but they also keep best left on the stalks (in a well sealed container in the fridge they may last up to a week or more!). They have similar flavours and are very closely related, although the whitecurrants are perhaps a little sweeter than the red ones. To strip the currants from the stalks, pull the stalk between the tines of a fork whilst held over a bowl.

However, inspite of the more laborious picking, where else can you get such deep, rich colour and tangy flavour in such plentitude as with blackcurrants? Your patience picking them individually from the bushes will reap you delicious rewards as they are an excellent fruit for making a wide variety of desserts and they also make a fine jam or jelly – the acidity means it should set very nicely.

If you haven’t yet managed any pick-your-own, we’d encourage you to visit the orchard during a collection time LINK soon to enjoy some of this jewelled deliciousness while it’s in season, along with blackberries, jostaberries and mulberries. (Don’t forget to check the board in the pole barn for which row to look in – taking a photo of the board is a good idea.) If you do manage that, why not try one of the recipes from the array below?

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has you covered for all the currants in this article which shares recipes for:
Blackcurrant ripple meringues
Redcurrant and raspberry granita
Sausage and redcurrant salad
Summer pudding (one of the most versatile recipes for summer fruit as you can use whatever berries/currants you can get your hands on)

Check out this selection of recipes for redcurrants that take you well past the ubiquitous redcurrant jelly. Redcurrant custard ripple sounds particularly easy and tasty.

Use whitecurrants in recipes for redcurrants, as a replacement for some or all of the redcurrants. Or try one of these delicious sounding recipes:
Whitecurrant jam
Whitecurrant tart – scroll down to find the recipe
Whitecurrant cake

Here you will find all the recipes for blackcurrants that you will ever need.
Cakes and cookies
Puddings and desserts
Frozen desserts

Or a really simple (freezer-free) way to keep some of the taste of summer for later in the year, stew over a low heat until cooked with just enough water to stop them sticking, sweeten if you wish, and pot into sterilised jam jars (as for jam making) straight from the bubbling pot and screw the lid on straight away. The button will go in as the jar cools and you have a cupboard preserve ready for your winter morning’s porridge or a quick dessert with natural yoghurt or custard.

You can also use these soft fruits by themselves / with others to make fruit leathers.

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