We have a currant bush in our backyard. Last year the birds got to the currants before we did, but this year the grapes were hiding the berries pretty well, so we were able to harvest them.
I noticed them on a Monday night in mid-June as I was watering my garden. It was about 7pm, and Paisley (age 9) and Cosie (age 7) were about to get ready for bed. I told them I had a job I needed help with, so after some grumbling they got their shoes on and came outside with me. We spent the next half hour or so picking red currants. We had fun picking the berries together and finding “jackpots” hidden under branches and grape leaves that had encroached on the currant bush. Currants aren’t particularly tasty — they have lots of seeds and are quite tart.
We took our berries inside and gave them a quick rinse. I measured them and saw that we had 4 cups from our one, sickly bush (it has some kind of borer in it).
I was trying to decide what to do with all these currants, and ultimate chose to make pie. I actually thought what we had were gooseberries, so a quick search brought me to two highly rated gooseberry recipes: One was a straight gooseberry pie and the other was a Sour Cream Gooseberry Pie.
It turns out that currants can replace gooseberries just fine in a pie. The girls really wanted to help make it, even though it was getting rather late. So upon discovering that we were out of tapioca, which was used to thicken the regular pie, I determined we would make Sour Cream Currant Pie.
I had never made a pie like this from scratch before, and I had never actually eaten currant pie, so I thought this would be interesting.
I had never actually made pie crust either, but it was pretty easy. I used half of this recipe, but it didn’t quite make enough. Here is the recipe I’ll use next time (which will make the right amount):
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup, 1 tablespoon butter (or shortening)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup water
- In a large bowl, combine flour, shortening, sugar, and salt. Blend together until crumbly.
- In a small bowl, mix egg with water. Then blend into flour mixture. Chill in refrigerator until ready to use.
- When ready to use, flatten dough using flour to prevent from sticking. Place dough in pie as desired.
While one of my daughters was working on that, I had the other work on the pie filling. The ripe currants worked really well as they were fairly mushy but still sweet enough. We used this recipe, but modified it with extra currants:
Sour Cream Currant Pie
- 2 to 2 1/2 cups currants
- A little less than 1 cup sugar (but depends how sweet your currants are)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- A pinch of salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pie crust (see above)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, gently stir together the currants and sugar. Let some of the currants get smashed and keep others whole. Let stand for 15 minutes. Press one of the pie crusts into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Mix in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Add the currant and sugar mixture, and stir to coat evenly. Spoon into the pie crust, and place the second crust over the top. Crimp the edges to seal, and cut some decorative slits in the top to vent steam.
- Bake for 55 minutes in the preheated oven.
- Can be eaten hot, or refrigerated (or both!).
Even though my Sour Cream Currant Pie wasn’t completed until about 11pm, I had to try a little slice with ice cream. It was delicious! I then ate it for lunch for the next few days since my wife is not a fan of pies.
Fortunately I have enough currants in the freezer for another pie once I’m ready. I’m looking forward to it!