Redcurrant Friands

Whilst I do love autumn & all of the beautiful colours it brings, it doesn’t officially arrive here in the UK until mid September so until then I’m holding on to the final weeks of summer & the late summer offerings too. As the last of the tomatoes ripen up & the ground becomes bare with the exception of the late root vegetables, the shrubs & hedgerows are still very much alive with colourful currants & berries.Two of my favourites are at their best right now, blackberries, one of natures finest free offerings & I look forward to many a foraging expedition for these soon, & redcurrants.

Redcurrant Friands

Early September is the perfect time to find bright, shining redcurrants growing low on shrubs, in open woodland & hedgerows here in the UK. For the best quality, pick glossy, plump, firm currants.  I like to think of them as the last hurrah of summer. These antioxidant filled little berries are fruity & bursting with a tart-sweet flavour. Often used in jams & jellies or used to decorate cakes & pudding, here I’ve used their glorious colour & bursts of flavour in a batch of light, buttery little friands. The balance of light almond flavour works really well with the berries tart-sweetness & make for a striking appearance on these dainty cakes. Perfect for sharing around over a pot of tea & chatter or packing away for a late summer picnic.

REDCURRANT FRIANDS
(makes 12)

Ingredients:

  • 160g butter
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 100g plain flour
  • 220g icing sugar, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 125g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g redcurrants

Method:

  • Begin by greasing a 12 hols friand or cupcake pan
  • Place the butter into a small saucepan & gently melt
  • Continue to heat the butter until begins to brown & smell a little nutty, then set aside to cool
  • In a large, clean bowl add the egg whites & use a whisk to beat them until they become white & frothy
  • Next, place a sieve over the egg whites bowl & sift over half of the flour, icing sugar & ground almonds
  • Use a large spoon or spatula to fold these into the egg whites until almost combined
  • Sift the remaining dry ingredients into the bowl & fold again until just combined
  • Finally, pour the melted butter & vanilla extract into the bowl & fold through until everything it well combined
  • Devide the mixture up equally between the friand or cupcake pan before adding the redcurrants on top of each one
  • Bake the redcurrant friands in the oven at 180C for 20-23 minutes until lightly golden & a skewer inserted into the centre of a friend comes out cleanly without any mixture
  • Leave the friends to cool in their tin for 5 minutes before removing & placing on a cooling rack to cool completely
  • Once cooled, finish the friands with a little dusting of icing sugar

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