I’m certainly not complaining about currants, in fact just the opposite, I am very grateful for this years currant crop. It has been fun trying different things with them. My daughter was happy to take home a jar of currant jam the other day, and the wine is still fermenting.
The last thing that we did with the currants, other than making some muffins and eating a few fresh, is to make dried currants. I may have mentioned before that we tend to do things in a non-conventional manner (our way). So, instead of getting out the dehydrator and heating up the house for a day or so, my husband suggested we sun dry them. So I got out the drying screen, which is a wooden frame, that came as part of the packaging in a table that we bought, with screen stapled to it (the screen was part of a roll that I had purchased for a few $’s at an estate sale), and spread the currants on it. We put the drying screen on a couple of chairs on the deck where the sun could shine on them.
Here is what I (we) learned about sun drying currants.
- It is a long process. Even with day time temperatures in the 80’s this took a couple weeks.
- The bugs did not bother them. Probably my biggest fear about trying this was that we would have flies and fruit flies crawling all over them, but that was not the case. I never saw bugs on them. The birds left them alone as well.
- They will get very sticky during this process but eventually they will dry.
- Take them in when it rains. Take them back out when the sun returns.
After a couple of weeks of this when the were fairly well dry we put them on a shelf in the spare room to finish drying. Yesterday, I packaged them in just a paper bag to be stored until I have time to make some muffins or granola bars with them.
Addendum: After eating the banana bread that I added dried currants too, my husband suggested I add a note. While I like the flavor of the berries and think they add a little zip to the bread, the seeds (currants are very seedy) are very hard and will stick in your teeth. I think, if I dehydrate currants again, I will try running them through the food mill first to remove the seeds and then make a fruit leather or fruit roll-up.