Red Currants

19 Jun

My sweetie adores red currant flavored things – I’d love to do a red currant syrup for use in cocktails and homemade sodas (thanks to our trusty Penguin).  I’d also love to do a red currant wine and have my own little Anne of Green Gables moment; if only I had Marilla’s recipe!  While I’m thinking of an alcohol free version, this could be fun as well; the recipe sounds remarkably old fashioned.

After picking up some frozen red currants online (curses for not having this stuff here in the Bay Area!), I’m scouring the internet for proof that I can use these wildly expensive frozen berries to make stuff.  I can find plenty of recipes for things to make, but everyone talks about FRESH berries, which I just don’t have access to.  I might have to pull on my trailblazing pants and just see what happens.  Of course I could’ve just purchased the dang stuff, but what fun is that?

My friends at Chowhound say it’s probably possible, thankfully, to make jams with frozen berries at least.  They also led me to the wonderful world of freezer jam, which I have never heard of.  It can even be made South Beach friendlyOne recipe for freezer jam I found involves just mixing together a few ingredients, and freezing.  Um, I can do that!

As for a cordial (this one sounds nice, if a little more gourmet than I planned), I’m not entirely sure.  And when I saw cordial – I’m really thinking cordial like Australians mean it – a flavored syrup for mixing with water in a Kool-Aid like concoction.  So really, I just need to make syrup out of it.  SURELY I can just boil down the berries, add some water and sugar, and from there keep it as syrup, or go one step further to jam.  SURELY.

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I just found some great info on growing red currants here.  I can’t wait to get my hands on a couple of bushes and see how they do!

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4 Responses to “Red Currants”

  1. Quinn June 19, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Why are there no fresh currants in the US? They were all over the place when I lived in Europe, but I have never seen them here.

  2. Amy June 20, 2011 at 1:32 am #

    Let me know how currant jam goes! I’m sure using frozen berries will work splendidly. I’ve gone from making strawberry freezer jam with fresh to making it with frozen berries, and it’s just the same.

    I don’t know much about using the whole currant, but I love things that use currant juice, like currant sorbet or currant pie. I’ll be intrigued to see what you come up with. And @Quinn, I never see them here either! I think it’s because the tiny berries are so delicate and easily crushed that they wouldn’t make it to market, but that’s just my speculation.

  3. roguedesigns June 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    I hear rumors that they will grow over here, and are even easy to grow. I can’t find much solid info on the how to get them, or where they do best – most updates only tell how they were banned in the US because they carried a disease that killed our pine trees. They have lifted that ban in most states (except some in the north east), so I’ll be hunting for some bushes to plant next year.

  4. Jim July 13, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    I have a ton of red currents (in a Rocky Mountain.NW state) in my back yard. I just moved in last year and this year I just picked some. Not sure what I’m going to do now… it’s all new to me. But they definitely grow here.

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