• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Drying blackcurrants?

 
Matthew Crawford
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Please has anyone got tips on how to dry blackcurrants and then store or package for selling?
 
Neal Foley
Posts: 49
Location: union Maine
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That's a tough one.... I've never dried them, but it can be done. A dehydrator would be a must, I think. I know with blueberries they recommend blanching them in boiling water to burst the skin to make it easier to dry, but I've never done that and had great success..... I think doing something like that to Blackcurrants would turn them into mush.

I think just try some and see what happens.....

Do you have a market for them? I would think making syrup or jam would be more profitable and less hassle.
 
John Elliott
pollinator
Posts: 2351
77
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I thought currants were a dry-on-the-vine kind of thing, similar to grapes. If you delay in harvesting them and the weather is hot and dry, don't you get some natural dried fruits on the plant? if so, then the way to make more of them is to turn up the hot and dry, i.e. cut them off the plant and lay them out where they get the full rays of the sun all day.
 
David Livingston
master steward
Posts: 2987
Location: Anjou ,France
140
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Is there some confusion between currents ( dried small grapes from corinth ) and black currents ?

David
 
Neal Foley
Posts: 49
Location: union Maine
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
David Livingston wrote:Is there some confusion between currents ( dried small grapes from corinth ) and black currents ?

David


I think there might be.... Currents--the dried fruit used in holiday cakes are actually Zante grapes.... Blackcurrants, the soft fruit, unfortunately banned in Maine and some of New England.....ugh...... are the deliciously tart fruit of the ribes species and make great jam and Ribena--very high in Vitamin C. They can and are dried sometimes....but they become pretty tart. I think when they are dried they are reconstituted in hot water before they are used to cook or bake with. They may also form part of an herbal tea....along with their leaves which are used in a number of remedies.
 
Matthew Crawford
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks folk,

I live in sw England and have inherited a large patch of black currants (as well as jostaberries) as part of the agroforestry land I help manage. However lots of people have their own black currants round here so I need a Unique Selling Point...yes we make some jams etc but they are common too, and I personally have given up eating sugar so would like some way of preserving them without using sugar (even no fructose).

Leaving them on the bush to dry is tricky because the blackbirds take them...better I pick them as soon as they are ripe -if there are recipies for unripe black currants that would also help me!!!

I have heard of something called pemmican which I would love to try one day but I don't have livestock.
I have some pig farmer friends but I am not sure I have time to sort out with them drying their meat and combining with black currants, and I have no idea how it's done anyway or what regulations we may have to follow.

I think I'll just try picking them when they are ripe (hopefully before the blackbirds) and drying them above the woodburner in the wooden cottage I live in.

If they are very tart as has been suggested....I wonder what to combine with? We have plenty of natural herbs growing on the land that we make teas from, but I guess making all the blackcurrants into a tea mix is a bit of a waste as the blackcurrants themselves aren't ingested...

...or can they be combined with some vegetable? ...or perhaps I put a serving suggestion on the packaging, like, 'good with meat and cheese' or something?

I wonder, once dried, how long they store? I could wait until I shoot some squirrels in the winter and make 'squirrel pemmican' ?!!
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1094
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
99
food preservation greening the desert solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Matthew Crawford wrote:
If they are very tart as has been suggested....I wonder what to combine with? We have plenty of natural herbs growing on the land that we make teas from, but I guess making all the blackcurrants into a tea mix is a bit of a waste as the blackcurrants themselves aren't ingested...


I wish we had blackcurrants here! We do have mulberries, and I've always thought they are really too bland to much with except to stand around idly next to the tree eating a few. Maybe a bland fruit like mulberries or something else that is sweeter would be nice mixed with a tart and flavourful fruit like blackcurrants? You might have to make them into fruit leather to mix them together though -- squash them together, optionally cook them down together, and then spread out in a thin layer on an oiled tray or an oiled sheet of plastic in the dryer.
 
Matthew Crawford
Posts: 5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, I'm not sure about mixing with other berries, but please may I come and stay with you? I'm bored of my country and I love mountains.
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1094
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
99
food preservation greening the desert solar trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Haha, sure! Just read the info on our website about volunteering here. We're planning to start a discount on the room and board for longer term volunteers, BTW.
 
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!