Haniela's: Berrylicious and Red Currants Meringue Cake

Berrylicious and Red Currants Meringue Cake

Friday, June 8, 2012

Red Currants have a special place  in my heart, they remind me of my grandmother  and her long row of currant bushes behind her country house. Leafy bushy shrubs were planted along the left side of  her farm style garden, alternating with delicious yellow apple trees. When in season bushes were abundantly covered with  little red fruits, clusters hanging all over, resembling  pretty earrings.

I remember like it was today, my cousins, my brother and I sitting on knee height stools by the red currant bushes and picking the red fruits, cluster by cluster, filling the large buckets with delicious fruits. We'd compete who picks the longest cluster. .They were tart. Once done picking,we were left with buckets and buckets of fresh currants. Color of these beauties is so vibrant, refreshing

To freeze currants, we'd have to separate berries from the stems, simply by running a fork through each  cluster, little red berries came falling down into the bowl, one followed by the whole bunch, like a happy family. I remember this so vividly as my last Summer at my grandmother's I spent hours holding the fork in one hand and red currant clusters in another, separating berries from the stem.  Faster than picking berry by berry still this was a time consuming process, even though totally worth it. Once berries are frozen you can use them in off season months to make one of a kind refreshing desserts that everyone loves.
Another thing that we made from currants was red currant jam. I can't even tell you how much I miss it, especially at Christmas time when it is time to make Linzer cookies or my mom's yellow cookie stick sandwiches, tartness of the jam compliments the sweet cookie in such magical way, especially if  you leave sandwiched cookies stand for several days. Flavors blend together, moisture from the jam soften a cookie a little and once you bite into the cookie it simply melts in your mouth.
One of  my grandmother's specialties to make from red currants was also Red Currant Syrup. Nectar derived from the red berries was used to make a tart syrup that we used to make drinks. Throughout the whole year we used it flavor soda water, or just plain water. I don't remember ever drinking soda at my grandparents' house

Here in Pennsylvania I had only seen red currants once, years ago, they were packaged in super mini containers, maybe a 1cup total, priced at sky high $6. Knowing that once a long time ago I could  swim in the pool of red currants at my grandmother's house I realized some things  just can't be bought.

 For this particular recipe I bought currants frozen at a Russian Market. Dessert came out just as I've imagined, moist, sweet/tart and most importantly  full of Summer.

 Red Currants Meringue Cake

3egg yolks
5tbl butter
3/4cup powdered sugar
1tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cup fresh or frozen red currants
3tsp corn starch
1cup powdered sugar
3egg whites

Preheat oven to 345F, butter a 9 inch tart pan with removable bottom, or you can use a square pan as well

Cake Batter
  • Whisk together flour, corn meal and baking powder, set aside
    •  Cream together butter and powdered sugar, add egg yolks and beat until smooth and pale in color, add vanilla
    • Alternatively  on low speed add milk and flour mixture, and stir just until combined
    • Spread the batter into the prepared pan
    • Beat 3 egg whites with  a pinch of salt until firm but moist peaks are formed
    • In a medium size bowl stir together red currants powdered sugar and corn starch
    • Gently fold the meringue into the currants
    • Evenly spread the filling on top of the cake batter
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 35 -40 minutes, until meringue is golden brown and cake is baked in the middle. 
    • If the cake isn't baked in the center(it is not set, this can happen especially around the center of the pan, center appears to be moving when you move the pan) yet but meringue is golden brown, cover cake loosely with aluminum foil to prevent meringue getting too brown and bake for additional 5 minutes
    • Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then carefully remove from the pan 
    • Let cool to room temperature and enjoy

    Are you ready for more Berry Recipes? Check this out!  I emailed few of my old blogging friends and reached out to few  new ones and look what came out of it. Berrylicous. 

    Be Berry.

    1. Joan, Chocolate Chocolate and More - Lemon Blueberry Pound cake

    2. Charity, FoodletsStrawberry - Banana Popsicles

    3. Jamie, Green Beens & Grapefruit - Mixed Berry & Cookie Butter Clafouti

    4. Hani, Haniela’sRed Currant Meringue Cake

    5. Katrina, In Katrina’s Kitchen - Frozen Blueberry Basil Lemonade Pies

    6. Sue, Munchkin Munchies - English Matrimonials

    7. Bia, Rich and Sweet - Blueberry Blackberry Orange Streusel Scones

    8. Sam, Sams Kitchen - Eton Mess Mini Cheesecakes

    9.  Sherron, Simply Gourmet Photography - Mulberry Syrup

    10. Ann, Sumptuous Spoonfuls  -  Strawberry Chia Jam
    11. Karen, Trilogy Edibles - Meringue Nest with a Bumbleberry Compote

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