Drying black currants?

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Deborah1

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Drying black currants?
« on: June 26, 2018, 17:11 »
I've still got black currant jam from last year (and the year before, and possibly from the year before that😄) and can't face anymore. But this years' crop is nearly ripe.

I have access to a dehydrator. Has anyone ever tried drying black currants? Did it work well? I've made black currant leather before, but am wondering if dried berries might be useful? Any thoughts/experiences would be appreciated.

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DanielCoffey

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Re: Drying black currants?
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2018, 17:36 »
I have not tried it myself but if you wanted to experiment, the Phyllis Hobson book suggests washing, draining, dropping into boiling water for 30s to split skins, drain and pat dry on kitchen paper then dry on trays in dehydrator at 115F/45C until shrivelled and chewy with no moisture in the centres (18-24h). Use - cannot be refreshed, use in the dry form.

I would expect them to be a little "seedy" rather than chewy but you could sacrifice half a pound of them as an experiment since you already have enough.

I must admit that having too much blackcurrant jam is an odd take on the "courgette syndrome".

You could donate the old jars to the local Food Bank and clear space for a fresh batch from this year's crop? Would they accept fresh fruit? Donate to the local Farmer's Market? Blackcurrants are scarce in the shops and very pricey.

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Deborah1

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Re: Drying black currants?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2018, 11:35 »
Thanks for the comprehensive reply. I haven't  come across the Phyllis Hobson book you mention and will search it out.
I'm going to try a tray full as an experiment.

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sunshineband

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Re: Drying black currants?
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2018, 17:10 »
Thanks for the comprehensive reply. I haven't  come across the Phyllis Hobson book you mention and will search it out.
I'm going to try a tray full as an experiment.


Funnily enough I was talking about this with a friend earlier in the week and wondering if they are easy to dehydrate and then use in place of say currants in cake recipes etc. I'll be picking some next week so would be interested in how you get on using that method Daniel mentioned
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DanielCoffey

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Re: Drying black currants?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2018, 11:58 »
Remember that "dried currants" for cakes are not blackcurrants - they are a small grape. I suspect that real dried blackcurrants would taste and feel different.

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sunshineband

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Re: Drying black currants?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2018, 14:24 »
Remember that "dried currants" for cakes are not blackcurrants - they are a small grape. I suspect that real dried blackcurrants would taste and feel different.

Yes they would indeed, but worth a little play around I reckon :D

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Deborah1

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Re: Drying black currants?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2018, 16:29 »
Just updating after my experiment with the dehydrator and black currants. It wasn't very successful - although worth trying. I blanched them for about 20 seconds, drained them, spread them on the trays...etc.
However, they didn't dry evenly. Some were like tiny rock hard pellets, others still wet and sticky. Perhaps better if you can grade the currant size beforehand? But that would be tedious and time consuming (and perhaps still no improvement.)
If anyone fares any better or has other advice I'd be interested to hear about it.



 

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