Misc berries, currants

ztomJuly 13, 2014

Here is a picture of some berries I got so far. The white currants are decent fresh. They have a lemon-like flavor. Maybe not great, but I'm already wishing I had some more. (Seems like squishing them instead of chewing is the best way not to taste the seeds.) Boy, the black ones really do have a strange flavor initially! The aftertaste is very pleasant, though. I could get used to them.

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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

Cool! Mixing berries for jam is what i do whan I have a low amount. I make an "all jam" every year. This year currents, mulberries, boysenberries, wyeberries, eastern magnolia berries, and tayberries.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:58PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I made a gooseberry/currant (white and black currants- birds got most of the red ones) jam last year, which was OK, but not that flavorful.

The 14 berry jam (gooseberry/ red, white and black currant/raspberries/strawberries/mulberries/juneberries) I made last year was sweet, but boring.

The blackberry/elderberry jelly was quite good, though the elderberries were a pain to prepare.

This year, I think I'll repeat the BB/EB (if I get enough EB- I pruned pretty hard and I only see a few blooms) and make the black currant on it's own. I don't think white and red currants have as much kick when making jam.

If you do use the white and red currants for jam, don't worry about adding pectin. The berries naturally contain it. I didn't add any pectin and it still set firmer than I would like.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:26AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

'....though the elderberries were a pain to prepare...'. I'm wondering what you did with them, bob_ z6? I just snip the umbels off as near the berries as possible with the scissors. Then they are simplye cooked up and put through a jelly bag.

Regarding blackcurrants - I think that a lot of people in the US are unused to the flavour and are put off after trying them raw. Blackcurrants are a massively popular taste here in the UK but we rarely eat them raw. Red and white currants are also often cooked or, if eaten raw, used with a good deal of sugar.

Red currants make a better jelly than jam due to the pips. It is a tart jelly and is used as an accompaniment to meat rather than as a sweet spread on bread. The colour is a beautiful clear garnet if made well.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:38AM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

I use very little sugar when making jam, it's a tough thing to do. But I hate it too sweet. Sometimes I use the calcium based gel, you don't have to use any sugar at all if you wish. Pomona's is the brand name.
Currants are also very good in smoothies, if you don't have enough fruit for jam, that plate is plenty for a couple of smoothies. I like using the greek yogarts in the smoothies. I think Vanilla is awesome.
The red currants go well with coconut. Makes an exceptional smoothie.
Other recipes i use for currants
Red Currant, Nectarine & Thyme Crisps
Red Currant Streusel Bars
Currant and Spice Oatmeal Cookies
red currant chessecake muffins

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:53AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

floral_uk, my daughter and I picked each berry off from the stem before using it. I had read that the stems and other parts of the plant were poisonous, so we were careful to remove it all, even though it took a long time. Is the poison in the stem rendered harmless by the cooking process? If so, it would be a lot easier to use them.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 1:27AM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Crikey - no wonder it took forever. The stems are not recommended for scoffing but I just trim the bunches very close with scissors and no one's died yet. If you really want to remove every berry use a fork. Same technique works for currants.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2014 at 11:34AM
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