I hadn’t come across a fresh red currant since childhood or maybe just I never really noticed them before my reintroduction at the local farmers market. Their color is so intense, as the sunlight hit them, these tangy red berries called my name.
Our neighbor in Wisconsin had row upon row of the vibrant fruit. I remember she would give us multiple jars of the sweet red jelly. However, I don’t remember seeing them used in anything else.
Red currants are a superfruit, naturally high antioxidant capacity. They ripen in summer and if chilled to just above freezing, can last for about 4-5 weeks.
So, with a such short window of the fruits’ availability, I decided to experiment by adding the succulent berries to some of my favorite foods. I visited the local farmers market for the next three Saturdays and scooped up a new batch from Trapani Farms for each weeks’ new recipes.
Ok, now for something a little savory. I prepared my traditional, low and slow cooked ribs on the grill. Then the last 15 minutes, I brushed the tender ribs with a glaze of brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, and currants.
Another big hit with my family was salmon with a roasted currant and pear sauce. I baked the currants and pears until browned and softened. Then pureed the sauce and boiled it down with a little white wine
I cherish finding my Grandmother’s lost “Most Excellent Zucchini Bread” recipe but it was quite sweet.
The addition of the sours berries was the perfect balance to the sweetness of my Grandmother recipe. I’d like to try a gluten free version with coconut or almond flour also.
Of course, I had to try making currant jam, just berries and sugar. The fruit provided enough pectin for thickening. It was then it was spread amply on some warm, banana, currant and walnut bread! I had a little left, cooked less for sweet and flavorful syrup. And the color is just spectacular!
Good bye to these beautiful berries for now, but I will never miss their season again and have even planted a few bushes.