Inspired by currants

It’s been a few days since I have been here sharing some recipes and stories. I have continued to cook and bake, but life and work have kept me away from the blog for a bit.

I came back from Montreal, unpacked, and quickly packed my bags again for a trip to New York City. Jon and Miren came along with me to a photo shoot that I cannot wait to share (more about it in the fall…but it was really, really fun). Nadia joined us on this trip and we had a great time in spite of the heatwave.

Saturday we visited the Union Square farmers’ market. I always make time for it when I am in the city – there are some incredible vendors. I was excited for the berries and stone fruits, but we also found currants, all sorts of colors. Red, white and champagne.

“A bit early” I thought to myself.

But it wasn’t just one farmer, there were many of them. It seems to be an early season for currants this year. But I am not complaining. I was thrilled to have found them.

I packed all the fruit in a large box – tiny strawberries, blueberries, black raspberries, gooseberries, all the currants, and sugar plums. I walked the streets of New York until dusk with this box in my hands. We snacked on berries all day long and couldn’t wait to get home so I could turn them into dessert.

Nadia had mentioned making a pavlova when she returned home and suddenly, I found myself craving chewy baked meringue.

“I have egg whites at home actually” I said to her “so I will be making some Eton mess”

It has been a while since I have made Eton mess. Remember this version with rhubarb? I made it again this time topped with fresh raspberries and currants. The perfect balance of sweet and sour.

There was also cardamom and lime-flavored custard studded with black raspberries and currants – possibly my favorite.

I can never resist a custard.

In fact, my mom and I were discussing this over the phone as I was whisking the egg yolks to make this version. “You have always loved custard” she said to me. I had to agree. She on the other hand loves cake.

We ate the custard one afternoon after our daily pool time. Not overly sweet and fragrant.

I also made crumble – how could I not make crumble with all this fruit? Jon and Miren helped me and we served it for our dinner party on July 4th. Everyone loved the pistachio and millet topping and the cardamom-flavored crème anglaise.

And finally the popsicles.

They have been a big hit these popsicles – watermelon, raspberry and currant. Also sweet with a touch of sour.

We sat outside today and finished them… and walked away covered in red stains.

Summer.

It’s turning out to be a busy one. Hope you are enjoying it as well.

Cardamom and lime-flavored black raspberry and currant custard

makes six 6-ounce ramekins

1 1/2 cups (375 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream (you can use unsweetened coconut milk here to make it completely dairy free)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (75 g) natural cane sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
2 cardamom pods, cracked
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups (180 g) black raspberries and currants

Preheat oven to 325F (165C).

Combine the first six ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring the mixture to a light boil, remove from heat, and let it steep for 10 minutes.
Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Place a strainer on top and pour over the coconut milk mixture. Discard cardamom and vanilla bean. Whisk to combine.

Divide the black raspberries and currants amongst six 6-ounce bowls or ramekins. Pour custard on top. Place the ramekins on a deep baking pan. Pour boiling water into the pan, enough to go up about 1-inch up the sides. Bring the pan into the oven and bake for about 25 minutes until custard is set. Let cool completely. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Watermelon, raspberry and currant pops

makes 10 pops

1/3 cups (85 ml) water
1/3 cups (70 g) natural cane sugar
3 cups (450 g) diced watermelon
1 cup (130 g) raspberries
1/2 cup (60 g) red currants
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Pinch of salt

In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. As soon as the sugar dissolves, remove pan from heat and pour syrup into a bowl to cool.

Combine the watermelon, raspberries, currants and lime juice in a blender. Puree the fruit and strain it through a fine mesh strainer. Add the cooled syrup and salt. Stir to combine. Pour into popsicle molds, insert sticks and freeze until solid.


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70 Responses to “Inspired by currants”

  1. a. maren says:

    hooray! please tell me what to do with currants! they are so beautiful, but i’m never quite sure what to put them in. can’t wait to try these!

  2. What a gorgeous post! Even so, because I have never seen currants here in Australia. Loving the pops!

  3. beautiful aran, i can not wait to visit that market looked like there was so many nice vendors. how happy are the kids bellies!

  4. beautiful aran, i can not wait to visit that market looked like there was so many nice vendors. how happy are the kids bellies!

  5. MikeVFMK says:

    Beautiful. I also love currants and try and take advantage of them when my market has an abundance of them because it is always limited. Love all the combinations and summer favourites. Really special. Can’t wait to find out more about the shoot come Fall.

  6. Katy Noelle says:

    What an absolutely beautiful, fresh, inspiring and sweet post!!! I’m craving…. custard, now….. of course! =]

    Lovely!

  7. Goodness your photos are absolutely beautiful. Always. I had a small pint of currants in my hands at the farmers market this past weekend and I put them back. Now I wish I had grabbed them. Next week :)

  8. Can I just live in your photos please! I would love to just be with the popsicles and summer forever! Your recipes are always fantastic :)

  9. Beautiful! Makes me want to eat popsicles right now! And I wish I can find these white currants here in Montreal! … But where are the hippie children and the ants Miren was playing with? ;)

  10. Riley says:

    Those pops look delicious!

  11. Sukaina says:

    Oh how I wish we could find currants that are white and champagne colored too! Looking forward to finding out more about your shoot!

  12. FrenchFoodie says:

    Thank you for another gorgeous post. Do you think that same custard would work well with stone fruits like nectarines or peaches? Just curious.

  13. notyet100 says:

    Even I luv summer ….:)

  14. Berries are just heavenly and your desserts look fantastic! I really liek the association with custard.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  15. Magdzioszek says:

    Your photos are BEAUTIFUL! :)

  16. Magdzioszek says:

    hi again! i visited your blog and i love your work, photos and place where you live.
    i hate the big cities, but here i have work, although i’d rather be where you…

  17. Laura says:

    Your photos are always so bright, fresh and joyful: they drive me crazy, so beautiful they are!

  18. Evitaa says:

    Sooo delicious! And that cute little girl. Great photos :)

  19. Dulcistella says:

    wow, amazing… that seems SO cool and refreshing. In my parent’s garden currants are already over, too late for me.
    I also frequently ask to myself how can you find all these fruits in the same time… I mean, in my house it’s first strawberry time, than cherries and then raspberries.. also in the shops is more or less like this, unless you want to pay a very high price for strawberries now, for example. Some time ago you posted a wonderful trifle (saturn peaches and cherries) and here now saturn peaches arrived… but that kind of cherries disappeared. Next time I’ll freeze some cherries!
    Have a wonderful summer!

  20. chika says:

    hi aran – beautiful desserts and gorgeous shots. but oh, the currants! just TODAY i went berry picking and scored some white currants, which are extremely hard to come by around here and i was quite thrilled to finally get some. and now, i find myself coveting for those champagne currants. never seen them before. so pretty!

  21. it looks delicious. My first crop of white currants is not enough to make your recipes, but I keep them in mind for next year, thank you!

  22. Chika- I saw on instagram. Aren’t they so beautiful especially on the vine. Happy you found some.

    Dulcistella- that is interesting. It’s also funny because I live in Florida and our season is completely opposite to the rest of the country.

    French Foodie- absolutely!

    Christelle- I could never share the hippie nudie photos… :) I miss you.

    Thank you everyone. Hope summer is being good to you!

  23. It all looks so unbelievably delicious….it’s killing me! :) please oh pretty please come cook for us in NYC?!

  24. Audrey- stay tuned to the blog this week. You might be surprised :)

  25. Iratxe says:

    ¡Qué bueno verte de vuelta, te extrañábamos!. Menuda cantidad de fruta, ¿te has ido con toda esta fruta desde NY hasta casa?. Todo delicious, me apunto todo. Besos.

    http://www.cocinaamiga.com

  26. Iratxe- si la verdad es que soy un poco obsesa con estas cosas. Es muy dificil encontrar grosellas en Florida asi que las traigo cuando viajo. :)

  27. These are such beautiful recipes. I love currants, so fragrant and delicious! My favorite is with elderberry in an iced tea.

  28. GAELLE says:

    Wow I’ve never seen currants with this color before… They look like pearls ! Such a beautiful post, it brings summer in my house, since here in brittany we barely reach 60°F and it’s pouring rain… So thank you !

  29. Ana Sofia says:

    Thanks for the heads up. I’ll stock up and some currants this weekend and freeze them for later!

  30. Another beautiful post! I love all the images. And I especially love imagining you walking thru Manhattan with your children and a basket of berries. Delightful. Union Square Marke is full of inspiration. Happy Summer!

  31. Whew!
    Gorgeous currants. A lot of photos – all very beautiful.
    :)
    Valerie

  32. Dena- I should have taken a photo of our set up. We had Miren’s stroller that had multiple bags hanging from it. Then the box with various fruit baskets wrapped in a large bag but since the box was so large, we couldn’t hold it by the handles, just had to go flat. that would sit on top of the stroller canopy when open… And it was like 100 degrees in NYC. It was funny, but so worth it…

  33. as always, your photography and recipes have me going gaga. Glad you enjoyed your trip to NYC

  34. tutusandtea says:

    What an absolutely blissful post, filled with eloquent descriptions, mouthwatering photos and dreamy food styling..thank you, thank you for sharing your summer!

  35. vytran says:

    Aran, what a beautiful post! I was lucky to get some currants over the weekend. Thank you for the inspiration!

  36. I love this post!!! Those popsicles… ah!! So beautiful. Love the colours against all that perfect white. I can just picture that NYC scene… you guys walking around the concrete jungle with a giant box full of gorgeous berries :) My mum made me custard when I was little and it’s still a nostalgic love of mine now, although I have to be careful not to overdo it with all my sensitivities ;) LIME custard?! I must make this. Your previous custard was SO good, with the lemon sponge cake and the berries… ah. Now I want more. Are you happy with your popsicle molds? If yes, do you remember what kind they are? Another beautiful post, love it Aran :) xox

  37. Anile… My dear friend. You must make this custard. Use coconut milk or almond milk. It’s great. Very creamy and smooth. The popsicle molds are from amazon. Not sure the brand name but if you search for popsicle molds, it will come up. Thank you Anile!

  38. These photos and recipes looked so amazing, I had to change my plans and make the custard immediately tonight! Hope I can sleep after a 10pm custard indulgence…it was delicious. Would you mind if I wrote about it on my blog, and linked to yours?

  39. Oh yum! Those currents look so good, bursting with color!! My my lady, you are a busy jet setter ….. I am now craving something sweet, tart and then some custard. Might just attempt to make those popsicles too. :-) See you soon Aran!!!

  40. beautiful!! such vibrant colours.. especially the ice pops!!!

  41. Mercedes says:

    ¡Qué placer para la vista! Esos polos deben estar de muerte. Haber si consigo un molde como el que has utilizado, su forma me trae gratos recuerdos de mi niñez. Me encanta la presentación que siempre haces de tus platos, me parecen una postal.
    Cariñoso saludo desde el veraniego Madrid.

  42. Mercedes says:

    ¡Qué placer para la vista! Esos polos deben estar de muerte. Haber si consigo un molde como el que has utilizado, su forma me trae gratos recuerdos de mi niñez. Me encanta la presentación que siempre haces de tus platos, me parecen una postal.
    Cariñoso saludo desde el veraniego Madrid.

  43. Beautiful! Such ounty and adventure all in one outing!

    Thank you for your comment, and for visiting! I have been a fan for along time.

    You are blessed indeed to have Nadia for a friend, she seems like. Very special and talented person. I love reading her blog.

    Have. Great dy, Elizabeth

  44. I think berries may very well be my favorite thing about summer. My mouth is positively watering looking at these photos. Delish!

  45. Kate says:

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  46. Anonymous says:

    Tus fotos de los helados en la fuente son encantadoras, curiosamente sigo a otra bloguera que ha hecho las mismas fotos, cambiando el sabor de los helados. Es bastante curioso. Te dejo el enlace por si quieres verlo tú misma.
    The same photo

    http://food-and-cook.blogs.elle.es/2012/06/28/¡los-helados-son-para-el-verano-polos-de-yogurt-y-frambuesa/

    Un saludo y fantástico blog.

  47. Pues no conocia este blog pero si que se parece….

  48. Pues no conocia este blog pero si que se parece….

  49. Pues no conocia este blog pero si que se parece….

  50. Pues no conocia este blog pero si que se parece….

  51. Sini says:

    There’s something about currants I can’t quite descripe. Something that makes them so appealing and beyond beautiful in my eyes… This post was pure inspiration. Surely making the custard.

  52. Real Noni says:

    These pictures are amazing!!! Everything looks SO delicious, I would love to be as creative as this, you have definitely given me some ideas to try though :) Thanks!

  53. I just posted about currants on my blog too. To me, they are the essence of July. Tart, sweet little jewels and not around nearly long enough. I love your blog and find it so inspiring. Thank you. Meg

  54. Fantastic. Where did you find the forms for the ice sticks. With aluminum this lOoks very vintage. Could I have your adress please

  55. Mueller- Got them from Amazon. Can’t remember the brand but if you search for popsicle mold it will show up.

    Thanks!

  56. Nicole says:

    Hello! Your post is so beautiful, as always! I’m wondering if you can tell me where you got those spoons? I love the polka dot ones!

  57. I just made a red currant loaf cake myself, using a recipe you published in 2009 (I think?)!!! Yay! Aran, it was soooooo delicious! Thanks for sharing a recipe that is just pure awesomeness!

    I sent the loaf cake to my husband’s workplace and the staff there all loved it, begging for the recipe!

  58. Nicole- the spoons are from Europe but I think Anthropologie is carrying them now.

    Jen- so glad you liked it!

  59. kindsofhoney says:

    Such pretty pinks and purples!

  60. Hello :) I made your custard last week, and it was so incredible. Everyone that tried it absolutely loved it, and I couldn’t get enough! Just wanted to follow up again to see if it’s okay for me to write about your recipe on my blog, and link to you. Let me know, thanks!

  61. All things considered yummy- glad you enjoyed it so much and yes, you may definitely blog about it. thank you!

  62. Absolutely love this post!!!!!!!! Thanks, your photos are so gorgeous!Eli

  63. Sini says:

    I was inspired by your curd recipe and made a slightly modified version with strawberries and red currants. Summer joy.

  64. It looks absolutely gorgeous and mouthwatering! I need to go to a nearby farm and pick my currants before they are gone for this season…

  65. Coffee Cup says:

    Thank you so much for posting such a nice post, i am enjoying your recipes. Wonderful collection.

  66. Ronja says:

    These pictures look stunning and like real summer feelings. Love them and I am amazed by the beautiful contrasts of sweet and sour, red and yellow….

  67. I love the popsicles, they’re just gorgeous ! I just can’t stop looking at these beautiful currant pictures ! Amazing post.

  68. ec says:

    Stunning photography.

  69. Patty says:

    Wonderful! you blog is very very nice…..kiss, Patty

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