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Currants are the runts of the dried fruit world, and it’s a shame, really. When added to biscotti, cakes, cookies, or quick breads, they add a spark of sweetness and a touch of dark, dramatic color without the more pronounced chew of raisins, dates, or figs.
There’s one big secret to make them more appealing, and it’s worth keeping in mind: to revive old, shriveled up currants, plump them in boiling water or soak them in a bit of liqueur before incorporating them into your recipe. I tried this recently when I discovered an ancient half-box of currants in the back of the pantry. They’d been back there awhile, years even, and they were no longer young and dewy. After dousing them with a bit of hot water, though, shazaam! They turned botox-y plump and nearly wrinkle free—perfect when tossed into my salad.
Next time you bake a batch of muffins or stir up a bowl of oatmeal, reach for some currants. They may be teeny, but their impact lives large.
Need currant inspiration? Try these recipes: