Growing and Preparing Currants
Image by Christina Symons
Gorgeous and flavourful, currants make perfect toppings for salads and cheesecakes
Currants in the garden offer hardy shrubbery and tasty, vibrant fruit that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways
If you have the room, consider adding currants to your garden or patio (in a pot). These delightful, edible shrubs are handsome in leaf, colourful in fruit and have a nice branching architecture during winter.
Currants are perfect for a back border in a vegetable garden, herb garden or an old English cottage-style garden. They work well near blueberries, honeyberries and gooseberries.
Currants are hardy and like full sun, but will tolerate less than perfect sites and soils. Mature shrubs may need occasional pruning of dead, damaged or diseased branches. You'll find currants in a variety of colours from almost transparent to light pink to dark ruby and black purple.
Ripe, sweet currants are lovely fresh from the bush, scattered atop a green salad, in a fruit salad, or used as a garnish and topping for sweets such as shortcake and cheesecake.
If you have a surplus of currants, make homemade currant jelly, or freeze fresh currants whole to use in the off season. Currant vinegar is also a tart treat and makes a great vinaigrette.
- 250 mL (1 cup) white wine vinegar
- 250 mL (1 cup) crushed currants (removed from stem)
- 45 mL (1 Tbsp.) honey
- 45 mL (1 Tbsp.) lemon juice
1. In a small saucepan, heat wine vinegar just until simmering.
2. Add honey, lemon juice and crushed currants. Stir to dissolve honey and blend.
3. Remove from heat and pour into a sterilized mason jar.
4. Put the lid on tightly and allow to cool. Refrigerate and let the flavours mingle for one week.
5. Strain and bottle before use. Keep refrigerated.