Last year, late in the blueberry season, I stumbled across Vytko Farms. What a treasure! Upon arriving a very nice gentleman told me that the blueberries were winding down and their currants were done for the year. Currants?! You have pick your own currants? Are you for real?!
I made a mental note not to forget about this place and I also made a physical note in my jam book. Yes, I keep a notebook of pickin’ patches, jams, recipes, yields, successes, failures, etc.
Anyways, currants. I wanted some. So we picked some.
Inspection proved that the red currants were pretty picked over so we focused on the black currants (or blackcurrants). It’s a lot of work to pick currants. They’re tiny and you have to crouch down and they’re hidden down in the bush. After an hour in the blazing hot sun, and several requests from Diane, we called it quits. When all was said and done we had 4lbs.
Luckily we had a friend close by and Ginnie took us to a local watering hole so that we could quench our blazin’ hot berry pickin’ thirst.
I ordered a Summer Shandy (ignore the Honey Weiss glass) and it was supremely satisfying. Diane ordered a Coors Light but meant to say Corona. Oops.
I’ve never worked with blackcurrants before so I did some web surfing and referenced my favorite jam cookbook before deciding on a blackcurrant and rhubarb jam. I did equal parts rhubarb & blackcurrants – 2lbs each.
Delicious!! A really unique flavor – it has a great tang to it. I’m thinking of pan searing a pork loin and then stirring some jam in with the drippings for a nice pan sauce. Mmm!
After we finished picking at Vytko and we were waiting to pay I struck up a conversation with a women in line. She said as a kid her mother, a Swedish immigrant, often made a currant and strawberry sauce and she fondly remembered eating it on all kinds of foods.
Blackcurrant and strawberry jam was the next obvious choice. Thank you Swedish lady!
This jam is really good too. I did 2lbs currants and 2 1/2 lbs strawberries. I upped the sugar on this one a bit and finished it with some honey. Mmm. This one is super good. So good in fact that Mike and I ate the whole bowl of skimmed away foam with a spoon. Ha!
Both jams will be available Saturday from 9-1 under the bridge at the Kent Haymaker Farmers’ Market. And these are limited edition – we’re not going to be picking currants again this season – so once it’s gone it’s gone!