Whitecurrants

Thursday, 21 July 2011


I let them festoon the bush for a long time, the pale, gleaming beads overlooked by the blackbirds.
But they couldn't stay there forever.


They are an albino variety of redcurrants. 
I think this one is called Versailles Blanche.
It is sweeter than the redcurrant.


In France they make Bar le duc jelly with whitecurrants, an extremely expensive delicacy due to the labour intensive method of production. Epépineuses* use a goose quill to remove the seed from each currant without damaging the fruit. The currants are then suspended whole in the jelly, about 200 in each 3oz jar.


Eliza Acton writing in 1840 has a method for a 'Delicate White-Currant Preserve' which sounds a lot less trouble.
'Boil together for seven minutes, an equal weight of white currants, picked with the greatest nicety, and finest white preserving sugar. Stir the preserve gently the whole time, boil rapidly, skim thoroughly, and just before taking off the fire, strain in the clear juice of one lemon to each four pounds of fruit.'


I had about two and a half pounds. I put most of them in the freezer. I will make them into a simple compôte to eat with thick yogurt later.
With the rest I made a tart based on one from Nigel Slater's Tender Vol 2.  


It's a cheesecakey sort of dessert. 
First you melt some butter into which you stir biscuit crumbs. I used gingernuts. 
Then you press the buttery crumbs into a loose-bottomed tart tin.


For the creamy bit Nigel uses a mixture of drained (to make it firm) fromage frais and yogurt.
I used crème fraîche straight from the carton and some of my homemade yogurt which I had drained overnight.
I sweetened the mixture with some icing sugar and spread it on top of the cooled biscuit base.

And finally, I scattered the currants over the cream and dusted it with icing sugar.


Wonderful combination of textures. The currants pop delightfully in the mouth like delicious bubblewrap.

*Epépineuse - deseeder

Many thanks for all your helpful advice about my various worn out things, much appreciated :o)

22 comments:

  1. We made the very same desert with some of our white currants this year and is was scrummy - can't wait for next years crop!!

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  2. épipineuse, dégringolade, quelles belles mots. Like the fifth picture particularly.

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  3. Thank you Lucille it's my favourite too. I love food in a Mason Cash basin.

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  4. Sue, this looks utterly delectable. I just love the recipes you use. Thank you :-)

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  5. Oh my that looks & sounds soooooooo good, will def give it a try. i love your recipes, find them most inspiring :)
    Karen

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  6. Exquisite. I am sure it tastes as good as it looks.

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  7. Pati from London3:25 pm BST

    I love the delicacy of the fruit! They look like pearls hanging from a tree. Stunning! x Pati

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  8. Your White Currants are so pretty, I might have to buy a bush and put it in my garden. Your favourite picture is mine too, there really is something about those basins.

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  9. Oh the tart looks gorgeous. Jo and I are redesigning the fruit cage on the plot, and now I think we may just need a whitecurrant bush...!

    K x

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  10. I haven't had whitecurrants since I was little but really want to grow some. Your pictures are always so beautiful Sue x

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  11. Your tart looks beautiful!
    Caz from Never Knew :)

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  12. Delicate fruit- delicate dessert- perfect pictures!

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  13. Those photos look like they have come straight from a cook book Sue! I love Nigel Slaters recipes. Did you see the drama about his life that was on over Christmas time. Really moving.
    Tickety-boo
    xx

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  14. Scrumptious dessert, delightful evocative photographs ... it's why I keep coming back here :D

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  15. They'd be worth growing just for their beauty . But being eaten with thick yoghurt sounds the perfect final flourish for them !

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  16. Hi Sue, have just discovered your blog. Love the post earlier this month about last minute demands to produce wonderful costume for school. Very similar situation with my own daughter recently. Glad to know I don't suffer alone! Great foodie posts too.

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  17. The white currants are so pretty, and that pie looks so yummy.

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  18. White currants, black currants , raspberries growing in your own garden.... sounds lovely.
    Cheers
    Helen

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  19. Oh wow!!! Delicious!!!! xxx

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  20. Mmmmm looks wonderful. Like something out of a fancy patissiere. Would love to sink my chops around a slice!

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  21. Now that looks amazing - gosh, should I just leave Weightwatchers.

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