Using Blackcurrants

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,432
2,621
Mid Wales
Blackcurrants have to be my favourite garden fruit - The missus' blackcurrant jam is heaven and a blackcurrant pie with home made yoghurt is to die for. I also like blackcurrant syrup and blackcurrant gin.

But, we have a whole new crop beginning to ripen, 10 jars of newly made jam, and 10 Lbs of last year's fruit in the freezer.

So, what else do you guys and girls do with blackcurrants?
 

bobnewboy

Settler
Jul 2, 2014
905
308
North West Somerset
I followed Hugh’s (Big Red’s) YouTube recipe for redcurrant jelly, and made it with blackcurrants from our fruit cage. It is excellent, and I shall be making another load this year. We have some early and some late bushes, so we’re covered :)

Last year we also swapped some blackcurrants for gooseberrys (although we hope to grow some of those too this year) with our neighbours, and some apples so we’ve a good assortment of fruit at home.

Perhaps you could try some blackcurrants wine? Not one I have tried myself, but......
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,441
1,492
McBride, BC
Ask around. Be prepared to barter for fruit that you don't have.

Anybody close by that's a home brew wine maker?
Offer the fruit for a share of the finish?

I have had the same family pick off my grape crop for the last 5 years.
Trade for carrots, onions and potatoes that I can eat over time.
They want jelly and wine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Broch

slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,102
157
Devon
I made my own cassis this year and it's rather good. Just steeped blackcurrants in vodka 'till forgotten about then drained and sweetened with a little sugar.

Do you know the varieties Brock? I could do with getting a few more plants.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Robson Valley

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,696
1,778
S. Lanarkshire
I make syrup with the left over glut too.
The syrup makes a really good, not quite so sweet, Ribena type drink. Lovely drink with ice in Summer :) and really good as a base for a spiced up Winter non alcoholic hot toddy too. Good drizzled on apple pie, or sponge or cobbler.
I quite like mixing the blackcurrants with apples to make crumble though. Tasty :)

You can use them in any recipe that uses blueberries too. They do work in muffins, but they're a bit on the tangy side, so maybe not for those who like awfully sweet. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, and quite enjoy them just as they come out of the freezer.

I do pick out the biggest sweetest ones of my crop and I pack those in small jars with a little sugar and vodka. They make a nice treat at Christmas, but if you keep them too long they wash out of colour and lose much of themselves into the alcohol. So use in tarts or with pudding before Spring.

I'll need to build a cage round mine this year. The woodpigeons are already casting covetous eyes on them :sigh:

M
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,432
2,621
Mid Wales
I made my own cassis this year and it's rather good. Just steeped blackcurrants in vodka 'till forgotten about then drained and sweetened with a little sugar.

Do you know the varieties Brock? I could do with getting a few more plants.
I'm afraid I don't; I got a couple of shrubs from my parents garden 25 years ago and we've then split them and moved them about ten years ago. They fruit in abundance every year. We've only got half a dozen bushes but we always end up with more than enough fruit.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toddy

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,432
2,621
Mid Wales
You can use them in any recipe that uses blueberries too. They do work in muffins, but they're a bit on the tangy side, so maybe not for those who like awfully sweet. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, and quite enjoy them just as they come out of the freezer.
I like them without sugar in pies and the like :) - I think its the tartness that really has me hooked; even the jam still has an edge to it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toddy

Woody girl

Full Member
Mar 31, 2018
2,736
1,837
62
Exmoor
Sadly my blackcurrant bush has got big bug mite so it will have to be burned. No blackcurrants for me this year. I do have a redcurrant and two gooseberry bushes, but you realy can't beat a good blackcurrant bush.
I will have to get a new one somehow, but I think it will be too late to get one for this year and get a crop by the time lockdown ends and I can get to a garden centre.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,441
1,492
McBride, BC
Woody girl: Take a bunch of 8" cuttings. Branch tips. Wash them well with Safer's Insecticidal Soap.
Strip off all the leaves but the tip tops. Plant 2-3" deep in very moist soil. Keep in the shade and watch.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,432
2,621
Mid Wales
Sadly my blackcurrant bush has got big bug mite so it will have to be burned. No blackcurrants for me this year. I do have a redcurrant and two gooseberry bushes, but you realy can't beat a good blackcurrant bush.
I will have to get a new one somehow, but I think it will be too late to get one for this year and get a crop by the time lockdown ends and I can get to a garden centre.
That's the trouble with these social forums; you need blackcurrant bushes, I have two nice bushes in big pots and 1m tall waiting to be planted out but with no realistic way of getting them to you :(
 
  • Like
Reactions: Woody girl

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,696
1,778
S. Lanarkshire
They make a nicer sauce than cranberry :)

Other than that, they're a softer berry somehow but that makes them nice in desserts. Nice just to eat like a wee bunch of grapes, I find.

M
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,696
1,778
S. Lanarkshire
Don't; really. It was such a disappointment.
They end up hard as bullets because they're all skin and seeds. It's not like drying grapes.
They don't rehydrate well either.
I suppose you could get them really, really dry and then blitz them into powder though.

Hmmm. Blackcurrant powder....wonder how that would do in drink or a cake ???
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,432
2,621
Mid Wales
Don't; really. It was such a disappointment.
They end up hard as bullets because they're all skin and seeds. It's not like drying grapes.
Maybe not then :)

But you could have waited until after I had persuaded the missus it was a good reason to try a dehydrator :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Toddy

Woody girl

Full Member
Mar 31, 2018
2,736
1,837
62
Exmoor
Maybe not then :)

But you could have waited until after I had persuaded the missus it was a good reason to try a dehydrator :)
Everyone needs a dehydrator.
I use mine all the time.
Overnight I dried lemon balm and nettles for tea .
I also dried the vodka soaked blueberries from the blueberry vodka making to use as snacks or in cakes.
I make jerky and fruit leather.
The money I've saved more than covers the cost. I must have had my money's worth six times over. It was only a cheap £30 one. One of these days I'm going for a more expensive one with square trays. The round one is difficult to store neatly and I prefer square fruit leather :) :)
Other than that it is a great investment. Go for it!
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,696
1,778
S. Lanarkshire
I have one of the thirty quid ones too. It must be ten years old now and it's still working perfectly. Looking a bit scruffy mind you, but it's done an awful lot of work.
I tell folks to keep the box it comes in when I say that it's a good thing. I'm still using the box to store mine, but @Woody girl is right, it is an awkward thing to store otherwise.

M
 
  • Like
Reactions: plastic-ninja

Woody girl

Full Member
Mar 31, 2018
2,736
1,837
62
Exmoor
I think mine is about the same age too.
It's also quite scruffy and has a cracking in the lid where I dropped it but it still works fine.
I'm just struggling with the concept of buying a new one while it is still working perfectly.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,696
1,778
S. Lanarkshire
I think mine is about the same age too.
It's also quite scruffy and has a cracking in the lid where I dropped it but it still works fine.
I'm just struggling with the concept of buying a new one while it is still working perfectly.
Me too :)
I eye up the temperature controlled square rack ones, and then my old one comes back out, does three enormous jar loads of dried apples and pears, and I think, "Why bother ? this one's fine " :)