Crazy for Currants

Currants are a tiny berries most popular overseas. A delectably tart fruit it’s versatile and can be eaten straight off the vine or in fresh summer recipes. From scones to pies, jams and drinks, it’s easy to sample and find your favorite. We’ve listed a few below to help you get inspired. No time to cook? Throw them in the freezer and add them at a later date to lemonade or cocktails for a pretty and refreshing instant chill.

Bread and Butter Currant Pudding
1 loaf challah bread
⅓ c. unsalted butter
¾ c. fresh red currants
¾ c. fresh raspberries
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
¾ c. sugar
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. whole milk
1 1/4 c. heavy cream

1. Heat the oven to 325° F. Brush each slice of bread on both sides with the softened butter and cut each piece in half. Arrange the bread in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, overlapping the slices in concentric circles to resemble a flower design.
2. Tuck 1/2 cup each of currants and raspberries between the bread slices. Whisk the eggs, yolks, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, vanilla, milk, and heavy cream together and pour over the bread.
3. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup each of currants and raspberries on top, cover with 2 layers of aluminum foil, and seal around the rim. Press gently to help the bread absorb the liquid. Let sit for 30 minutes.
4. Bake for 40 minutes, remove the foil, sprinkle the pudding with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar, and increase the oven temperature to 350° F. Bake until the pudding is set and the top is golden brown — 25 more minutes.
5. Cool on a wire rack. Can be served warm or chilled according to preference.

15 Minute Red Currant Jam by Java Cupcake
4 cups fresh red currants, removed from the stems
Just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan
Granulated sugar (amount depends on weight of puree – see directions)
Zest & juice of ½ a lemon
2 jam jars with lids, sterilized

1. Rinse the berries and remove them from the stems. Use the method here to carefully destem the berries.
2. Place the berries in a large pot and just barely cover the bottom of the pot with water.
3. On medium high heat, cook 3-5 minutes until the berries have become soft and wilted.
4. Place berries and water in a food processor and blend until you’ve reached a puree consistency.
5. Press the puree through a mesh strainer and discard any seeds and skin remaining.
6. Weigh the remaining puree and measure out the same weight of granulated sugar.
7. Put the puree and weighed sugar in the same large pot along with the juice and zest of ½ a lemon and stir to combine.
8. Bring pot to a boil over medium-high heat and cook undisturbed for 7 minutes.
9. Skim the scum off the top of the boiled mixture.
10. Ladle or pour the jam into prepared jars and screw on the lid.
11. Refrigerate 24 hours or until set.
12. Jam will keep cold for several weeks… if your family doesn’t eat it all first!