Monday, July 13, 2015


At the Farmer's Market on Friday... there was a gorgeous selection of freshly picked currants.
Red and white.... they took me back to my childhood when I used to snag the >> ahem << occasional >> ahem <<
stems of currants from my neighbor's garden.
Or the time when I was picking currents for my mom; and put my arm in a huge nest of wasps... but that's another story...

I love currants... and it seems like they don't get a whole lot of "play" in cookbooks... which I discovered while looking up recipes this weekend. There's few out there for currant desserts.... like this.... and this... but most of them are more of a bar type or torte-like concoction.
So I resorted to my old recipe box... for my Grandmother's (my mom's mom) pie crust recipe... which I jotted down many, many years ago.

Pie Crust
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup (plus a bit extra) shortening ( I use butter flavored Crisco)
a dash of salt (I use coarse sea salt)

*and here is the "trick" I learned from a wonderful Polish lady I used to clean and cook for... mix it all with ice water. ie: put a couple ice cubes in a glass with cold tap water... and use that to mix up your pastry dough. It will leave your crust flaky... yet moist and scrumptious.

((the top photo shows me making sure I had enough berries for a pie. The 2 photo/collage shows the prep of making the dough for the pie crust. The 3rd photo/ collage shows me making the pie crust. I recommend a generously floured surface to roll your dough out on; and "measuring" the amount of pie crust to fit your pie plate after rolling, and a spatula to help lift it up and into your pie plate. I always "fork" the bottom of the crust so that it bakes through and through. And I "roll" and flute the edges just like my grandmother used too.
It's just a habit... but it also makes it look pretty.))

Now. I couldn't remember if I should bake the crust (without filling) for a few minutes or not;  and so I decided I would.
Better a little dry, I thought... than all mushy. So while I was mixing up the pie filling; I baked the pie crust in the oven at 350 for about 10-15 minutes (until lightly golden).

Then I made my pie crust filling.... which was 3 containers of fresh currants (it took me 2 episodes of CSI to pick them off the stems the other night... I think I am slow). I added in a couple tablespoons of flour for thickening, a dash of sea salt, about a cup of raw sugar, and a mixture of cinnamon/nutmeg/ allspice & black pepper. Be careful when you are stirring this together that you are gentle with the berries,
as they crush easily.
I spooned them into the pie crust... and topped it (although you could put another pie crust on top) with cookie cutter cutouts of pie crust... and put it back in the oven at 350 for about 40 minutes.. or until golden brown.

Let it cool if you can  >> wink << before cutting it up.
This recipe is completely vegan... but you could easily add butter instead of shortening.
And you could certainly add some fresh whipped cream on top ... or even ice cream.