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.
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,
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
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
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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