Produce Recipes: Black Currants

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Remove any mashed berries prior to storing. If storing for several days, place currants in a single layer in a dish lined with paper towels in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator.

Remove leaves and green stems, do not worry about brown "tails." Wash just before using in a colander.

Black currants are not the same as the tiny Corinth grapes of which English scones are often made. Instead, their earthy, rich flavor is used to make the liqueur, Cassis, as well as provide flavoring for many desserts. Black currant sauces also are good with grilled foods.. Black currant's flavor is complemented by cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, as well as chiles. These berries also go well with dark chocolate, vanilla, and pear.

Black Currant Sauce
Wash currants and measure. Place currants in a heavy, non-aluminum sauce pan. Add sugar in an amount equal to half or all of the currants, depending upon your preference. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally to mash berries and make sure they don't stick. When the mixture becomes a thickened sauce after about 10 minutes, remove from heat and let cool. If mixture is not sweet enough, add more sugar and reheat until sugar is dissolved.

Use sauce over vanilla ice cream and serve with chocolate brownies.This sauce also is good over poached pears or pear ice cream. Alternatively, you can mix this sauce into your favorite barbecue sauce and add some chili pepper (a single chipotle works well) for a spicy, sweet sauce that is great on poultry and seitan. You may also add a pinch of cinnamon, a dash of cloves, and/or a few gratings of whole nutmeg to this sauce.

Black Currant Italian Sodas & Black Currant Brownies
Put the finished sauce from above through a fine sieve or food mill. The juice/syrup can be added to soda water to create something that resembles an Italian soda. Save the resulting paste to flavor brownies by replacing an egg with two tablespoons of currant paste. Store the syrup in a sterilized glass bottle in your refrigerator as you would fruit pancake syrups. The paste can be refrigerated for several weeks or frozen in a freezer bag.

Black Currant Preserves
For each pound of currants, add one pound of sugar, and 1 cup of juice (raspberry, red currant, or cranberry). Heat together in a non-aluminum sauce pan until mixture reaches boiling. Do not stir, but shake the pan occasionally. Skim foam with a spoon being careful not to remove berry mixture. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour into just cleaned jars. Store in refrigerator, or if making a large quantity, process with a pressure cooker. Use on English muffins, crumpets, or in recipes like Black Currant Tea and Cassis Brownies.

Black Currant Sorbet


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