Because I didn’t have any homegrown currants, I bought some. I made red currant chutney and red currant meringue pie and homemade cassis with my currant bounty. They were all delicious. I went simple, and made crumb bars. They were also delicious. They’re a good intro to currants, if you’re not sold on them yet, because they mostly taste like coffee cake crumbs with a thin layer of tangy, bright red fruit. Give ‘em a go.
Red currants. They have a short season, and it’s right now. They’re super pretty and quite sour and they burst in your mouth like gushers when you bite into them.
Red Currant Crumb Bars
Makes 16 bars.
- 1/2 c. plus 2/3 c. sugar
- 3 cups fresh red or white currants, washed and removed from their stems
- 1 TBS cornstarch
- 2 c. flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/3 sticks salted butter (5.3 oz.), cut into cubes and chilled
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8×8 or an 11×7 inch cake pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently stir together 1/2 cup of the sugar, the currants, and the cornstarch, until currants are coated with the sugar mixture.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar, the flour, the baking powder, and the salt until evenly combined. Add the chilled butter cubes and the egg, and use a pastry cutter or a fork to blend the butter and egg into the flour. When finished, dough will be crumbly with pea-sized chunks of butter.
- Press 2/3 of the dough into the prepared pan. Top with the currants. Clump the remaining dough together into a loose ball, then crumble it over the top of the currant mixture. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until currants are bubbly and top of crust is golden brown.