This morning, my friend Patti and I headed to Larriland Farm before the gates even opened. We waited in line to be two of the very first pickers in the tiny black currant patch. It has been several years since I last picked black currants, so I was super psyched to get my hands on these little black beauties!
We picked for about an hour. Thanks to my very efficient partner, I ended up with over seven pounds of currants! I was able to bag four quarts to freeze, and I still had enough left over to whip up a delicious dessert.
Here in Maryland, we have a ridiculous abundance of berries ripening all at once. A week or so ago, we were picking tart cherries. Now both the sweet and tart cherries, blueberries, raspberries, currants, gooseberries, and probably more berries that I'm forgetting, are all available for picking! If you want to visit Larriland, on Route 94 in western Howard County, check out their website at www.pickyourown.com before getting in your car.
If you have never tasted black currants, I feel very sorry for you! I think they are my most favorite fruit. They have a deep, slightly acidic, musky flavor that is different from every other berry. You might guess from their dark color that they are rich in antioxidants, as well as Vitamin C. In Great Britain, you can purchase black currant juices, yogurt, jam, cheesecake, candy, and much more.
Today, I used my black currants, mixed with freshly picked blueberries from my own plants, to make a crisp. Here's the recipe:
2 cups fresh or frozen black currants
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 TB instant tapioca
1/2 cup butter (or coconut oil)
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/4 cup honey
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup almonds
Preheat oven to 350F. Pour berries into a 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle sugar and tapioca over the top. Melt butter and honey together then stir in hemp seeds and oats. Cover berries with oat mixture. Top with almonds. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Let cool. Serve warm or cold with yogurt or ice cream. Makes about 8 servings.