Friday, August 14, 2009

Vermmmont: Barely Sweet Red Currant Tart

One of the things I look forward to during my annual two week gig in VT is the Dunbar's red currant bush. Lucky for me, the fruit ripens during my stay. Also lucky for me is that the Dunbars don't really like currants, so I'm always encouraged to take as big of a haul as I want.

In the past I've never had the wherewithal to do anything but eat them out of hand, but this year I got it together to whip up a crude tart.

As I prepared it, the berry topping somehow became a black hole for sugar; the more I added, the same it tasted.

I prefer barely-sweet desserts, but even for my palate I had to keep sprinkling on the cane dust. All the while a little devil sat on my shoulder, whispering "Just dump it in! People will like it better!"

Meanwhile, the little angel that, inevitably, sat on the other shoulder, meekly suggested: " Sugar is bad for you. Maybe your friends would enjoy a horribly sour tart and better health?"

In the end, neither won, as I compromised. But the tart was perfect for me, with a challenging level of tartness yet just enough sugar to walk you through it. I made one for the Dunbars as a thank you for years of free currants, but I'm told it met with mixed results. Some of them ate it straight up, some added more sugar, and some passed on it altogether.

Angel: "Even if they didn't like it that much, at least everyone had a healthy dessert."

Devil: "That means more for us! Rrrrrrrrrah! (<-- a devil roar)."


Etymology for Karen:

"currant" origin: Middle English "raisons of Corauntz," translating Anglo-Norman French raisins de Corauntz, meaning ‘grapes of Corinth ’ (the original source).

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