10 Blackcurrant Recipe Ideas

by Elizabeth Atia -

Shetland blackcurrants are ready for the picking just now, and if you're lucky enough to have a few bushes in your garden you might be wondering what to do with them all, short of freezing them for the winter months.

Here are a few recipe suggestions:

#1. Make jam. My jam making skills are very much in their infancy and the jam you see above was my first ever attempt at making blackcurrant jam. I was told that blackcurrants don't need added pectin, but I was skeptical and still added a little bit, and I think the resulting jam was a bit too thick. So, for a tried and tested recipe use Hazel Tindall's redcurrant, grapefruit and lemon marmalade recipe. She uses the same instructions for making blackcurrant jam, omitting the grapefruit and lemon.

Alternatively, you could try a honey sweetened version like Shetland food blogger Nikki over at Roots & Wren has done.

#2. For a quick and healthy breakfast idea whizz up some frozen banana segments with a handful of Shetland blackcurrants, a generous dollop of yogurt (I used coconut), 150 ml milk (I used coconut) and a teaspoonful of Shetland honey. I added a tablespoonful of coconut oil for some healthy fats and topped it with some coconut flakes, sipping in the garden post-workout.

#3. Baker Robert Tonkinson of The Quernstone suggests making a blackcurrant fool with them. Cook down your blackcurrants, adding sugar to taste, keeping it on the tart side. Allow to cool. Whisk up a small pot of Shetland Dairies whipping cream with a little sugar and vanilla. Whisk up a free range Shetland hen's egg white until it forms stiff peaks and then gently fold your cream and egg white together until combined, and swirl the blackcurrants through.

#4 Blackcurrant Cassis - Cornish food blogger (and a friend of mine) Jane makes the most delicious blackcurrant cassis with her home grown blackcurrants. She'll be visiting Shetland next summer and I am secretly hoping she'll bring me a bottle!

#5 Blackcurrant Swirl Ice Cream. Mix 200 grams of blackcurrants with 60 grams of granulated sugar in a small saucepan and heat until the berries break down and it forms a thick sauce. You shouldn't need to add any water. Leave to cool and stir in 1 tbsp creme de cassis. To make the ice cream, whip 600 ml Shetland Dairies double cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold in one tin of sweetened condensed milk (the 397 gram ones) and one teaspoonful of vanilla. Pour 1/3 of the whipping cream mixture into a freezer proof container (an old ice cream container or a loaf tin), spoon over half the berry mixture, and repeat with the remaining cream and berries. Using a palette knife make swirls in the ice cream layers. Leave to freeze for at least five hours and then serve!

Pictured above is a vegan blackcurrant ripple ice cream I made last summer.

#6 Top your favourite yogurt, porridge or bircher museli with fresh blackcurrants for little bursts of juicy flavour.

#7 Shetland Summer Berry Crumble: I made a rather delicious crumble the other day (no photographs, I'm afraid!) using four apples, peeled, cored and cut into large pieces and a good handful of Shetland blackcurrants (the last of last week's veg box delivery!). Rub 125 grams Shetland butter into 155 grams plain flour and then stir in 125 grams soft brown sugar, 40 grams porridge oats and one teaspoonful of mixed ground ginger, nutmeg and/or cinnamon. Chill until needed. Heat 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan and gently cook the apple pieces along with 1 tbsp water and 1 tbsp caster sugar until they soften slightly. Spoon into a dish, top with the crumble topping and bake at 200C/400 F for 20-30 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Serve with custard, cream or ice cream.

Alternatively, you might like Roots & Wren's mixed berry crumble with ricotta vanilla cream.

#8 Blackcurrant Coulis: Mix 400 grams of blackcurrants with sugar to taste (around 100-125 grams) and the juice of one lemon in a saucepan. Pour over 300 ml water and heat over a medium high heat, simmering for 10 minutes until the fruit has softened and begun to break down. Puree with a hand blender and then push through a fine sieve to remove pips. Serve over ice cream or as a fancy drizzle for cheesecake or chocolate cake (pictured above).

#9 No Bake Summer Fruits Cheesecake: Crush 200 grams digestive biscuits and mix with 100 grams of melted Shetland butter and 2 tbsp caster sugar. Press into the base of an 8 inch spring form cake tin and chill for a half an hour, at least. Lightly whip 500 ml of Shetland Dairies double cream and fold in 600 grams of softened cream cheese, 70 grams icing sugar and the juice and zest of two lemons, taking care not to over beat. Spoon over the top of the biscuit base, smoothing with a spatula. Leave to chill in the fridge for 4-6 hours. Top with fresh black, red and white currants, or any other Shetland-grown soft fruits you like.

#10 Shetland Summer Fruits Picnic Cake. I had an abundance of Shetland berries last summer and so I used up 300 grams of them in this rather scrummy picnic cake - the addition of the ground almonds keeps the berries from sinking to the bottom, as is the case in a lot of berry recipes. It tastes even better sitting on St. Ninian's beach in the glorious summer sun. :)

Shetland Summer Fruits Picnic Cake

Course: Main

Servings: 12 slices

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients
  • unsalted butter - 175 grams
  • caster sugar - 175 grams
  • Shetland hen's eggs - 2 large
  • self-raising flour - 175 grams
  • ground almonds - 100 grams
  • vanilla extract - 1 tsp
  • mixed Shetland summer fruits - 300 grams
  • icing sugar - (to dust)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C/ 160 C fan and grease and line a 20 cm round cake tin.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Sift in the flour, and add the ground almonds. Combine well. The mixture will be thick.
  5. Fold in the fruit and spoon into the prepared tin, levelling the top with a spatula.
  6. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a skewer, inserted in the middle, comes out clean and the top of the cake is lovely and golden.
  7. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Dust with plenty of icing sugar and serve!
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