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Aug 14, 2006 03:38 PM

What to do with white currants?

I bought these just because I've never had them before, but they're too tangy to eat on their own and I'm not up to making jam. What else can I do with white currants? Can I bake them into something?

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  1. Martha Stewart had a whole article on currants a couple of months ago... it actually made me obsessed with wanting to grow white currants, because I think they are SO gorgeous! Here's one recipe I could find, but they might still be too tart in this: I'll check my magazine when I get home tonight and see what else they suggested using them for... I think there may have been a crostada or something along that line.

    1. Well, I don't suppose there's a chance you got those in the SF Bay Area ... a chain like Whole Foods ... hmmm ... I'm guessing it was a farmers market in LA ... rats.

      This sounded interesting and white currants do look so pretty.

      Reading about them, I'm wondering if your white currants are not quite ripe. They are usually described as sweet and can be eaten out of hand.

      Anyway, in exchange for asking where you bought them, I searched around for some ideas. This seemed like the best idea ...

      "white currants sauteed in butter and mint--both go quite nicely with salmon"

      There were lots of suggestions to make a sauce out of them, say like blueberry or strawberry, and use over ice cream or pound cake.

      I liked the suggestion of dropping a few in a glass of white or sparkling wine ... just for the visuals.

      You mentioned that you weren't up to making jelly. For some reason white currants seem to inspire the most labor intensive recipes like this one for Bar du Lac jelly ...

      "Take selected currants of large size, one by one, and with tiny embroidery scissors carefully cut the skin on one side, making a slit of perhaps one-fourth an inch. Through this, with a sharp needle, remove the seeds, one at a time, to preserve the shape of the fruit. Weigh the fruit and take the weight of the fruit in strained honey, heat in non-aluminum saucepan."

      That one just cracks me up and makes me laugh out loud every time I read it.

      They can be frozen to keep longer.

      4 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        They were from a Korean supermarket in LA. $2 for a pint! I couldn't resist. I do think they would be gorgeous frozen, perhaps as a garnish to a tart sorbet? Talk about minimal effort. But really, the mint/butter on salmon sounds great.

        I'll let you know when I inherit some tiny embroidery scissors...not that I'm ladylike enough for any relatives to even consider me in the running for such an heirloom.

        1. re: Pei

          Well, if you ever are gifted with those embroidery scissors but don't have the sharp needle to remove the seeds, a goose quill can be used.

          Thanks, it gives me an excuse to troll some Asian markets in my area. A field trip.

          You know, if they are tart, maybe rolling in some sugar?

          This might be slightly more than you want to do but Mrs. Beeton in this link describes how to make iced currents by rolling in egg white and then sugar and using as a garnish.

          For some reason, having never tasted a white currant that sounds appealing and then freezing the sugared currants to sprinkle on a dessert.

          1. re: rworange

            There is a currant preserve of some kind made with currants that have been seeded like that.


            1. re: rworange

              Now I need a goose too? Sigh...

              I think I've had some kind of berry bigger than a currant rolled in egg white and sugar (at the Ritz, natch). Very tasty. Crispy and sweet on the outside, soft and tangy on the inside. Sort of like a non artificial lemon drop.

              edit: a post below reminded me that what I had was a gooseberry with its leaf still attached. Yum.

        2. I love currants in egg salad with a little curry powder. I usually hate egg salad, but this I wanted to eat with a spoon.

          1. When I can find them, I will use a healthy handful of fresh whole currants instead of the dried ones called for in Zuni's roast chicken and bread salad recipe. Adds a nice fresh burst of tartness to the salad. I've only used red currants this way, because white currants haven't been available, but from your description they would work just as well.


            1 Reply
            1. re: djh

              Dried currants, despite the name, are actually a type of raisin, i.e. a dried grape. (The name comes from "Corinth," the name of this type of grape.) The red or white currants used in jam, Bar-le-Duc, etc., are closely related to gooseberries.

            2. When I find red or white currants at the market I use them to make edible decoratation for desserts.

              Beat an egg white until foamy. Dip springs of currants into egg white, shake off excess. Dip into regular sugar. Allow to dry on a cake rake.

              Use to decorate a fruit platter, chocolate mousse, ice cream or sorbet. I also enjoy just eating them like that.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Fleur

                How long do these keep, and do you keep them in the fridge?

                1. re: Pei

                  How long they keep really depends on the weather. On a nice dry day, they will keep a while. I usually make them a few hours before. They will go all soggy on you in the fridge.