This year was good for our currants. These pretty, brilliant jewel-red berries are a treat. They make just about the prettiest red jelly you can imagine and the flavor is wonderful. Last year I had just enough for a batch of jelly. This year I made two batches of jelly and two pies.
Red Currant Pie is not really a pie, more like a tort. The crust is a short-bread kind of crust, and the filling is a merengue with the berries folded in. Before it’s baked, look at that! Isn’t that pretty? It looks like white snow dotted with red jewels. After it’s cooked…oh my! It’s heavenly!
I hope you’ll try this. If you aren’t growing Red Currants right now, try to find someone who is and try this recipe. And maybe add currants to your list of edible bushes to plant in your yard.
If you don’t have a spring form pan, you can use a lightly buttered 9” pie pan. Don’t stop with currants.
This recipe is also yummy using raspberries, blueberries, blackberries or June berries.
1½ C flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ C butter, softened
½ C sugar
2 egg yolks
1½ tsp grated lemon zest
2 egg whites
2/3 C sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2½ C red currants
For the crust
Mix the baking powder in with the flour. Cut the butter into the flour till you have the consistency of cornmeal. Add sugar, lemon zest and egg yolk and mix well. It will be a dry, crumbly mixture. Press this evenly into a springform pan. If the dough is so crumby as to be completely unworkable, you can add a tablespoon or two of milk. But be careful! It’s very easy to make it too moist.
Bake the crust at 350° for 25-30 minutes, until crust is a light, golden brown.
For the filling
Put the berries into a plastic baggie and sprinkle with cornstarch. Shake the baggie until berries are evenly coated with cornstarch. Set aside.
Whip egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gradually add sugar until it is fully incorporated into the egg whites. Fold berries into the egg whites and pour this mixture into the baked crust.
Bake at 350° for another 20 minutes or so, until the merengue is a light golden color.