Red currants are one of those little-known fruits that pack a big punch. I was thrilled when, met with an abundance of these little jeweled fruits, I needed to come up with a great recipe to use them in. While I love them in jams and jellies, I eventually settled on scones because, well, I love scones. These red currant scones are bright, fun, and a little flirty. They are also perfect for your next tea party.
So, What Are Red Currants?
Not everyone is familiar with red currants since they are not likely to make an appearance on most grocery store shelves. These little berries are native to Europe, Asia, and some parts of North America and typically come in varying shades of red, pink, white, and even black. They typically ripen from early June through August in mild climates, preferring some shade. Currants are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A.
The fruits themselves grow in clusters, hanging down from bush branches like fine jewels. They are little more than a few centimeters in diameter. Their small size makes their strong flavor quite surprising — as well as perfect for making jams and jellies. If you find yourself with an abundance of currants, try whipping up a jam and using it in our jam scones recipe for a fun and tangy twist.
Red currants tend to have a distinctly tart flavor, similar to that of a cranberry. However, these little fruits are much juicier and slightly stronger in flavor. Despite their tartness, they can easily be balanced with the addition of sugar or a sweet citrus such as orange.
Dark Chocolate Red Currant Scones
I kept this recipe very simple in order to let these little fruits shine. Currants have a uniquely tart flavor that truly stands out; I added the slightly bitter flavor of dark chocolate to balance this tartness in a really subtle way. Don’t be afraid to serve these scones with a sweet citrus glaze or clotted cream if you still deem them in need of more sweetness.
We suggest pairing your red currant scones with an equally bold tea such as Fog Cutter lemon peel black tea or Contemplative Blend lemon orange guayusa. For a milder tea, try out Oregon Breakfast hazelnut orange herbal tea.
These scones would also make a great accompaniment to a tea party menu when paired with a simple salad and a few tea sandwiches. While they have a lot of flavor, they are still balanced enough to go with just about any menu. Simply use them as you would any other berry scone.
It might even be a fun idea to combine them with two other berry or chocolate scones for a scone trio. We suggest strawberry yogurt scones, blueberry orange scones, or chocolate zucchini scones for the best results.
We love these dark chocolate red currant scones and can’t wait for you to try them. If you don’t see red currants at your local grocery store, check the farmers markets in early summer, about when strawberries become abundant.
Dark Chocolate Red Currant Scones
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pats
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup cold milk
- 1/2 cup fresh red currants
- 5 oz dark chocolate, cut into dime-size chunks
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add in the butter and, using a fork, mix until a crumbly mixture is formed.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture until well blended.
Add the currants and chocolate to the bowl and gently mix until just incorporated.
Transfer the dough to a piece of parchment or lightly-greased work surface (a floured surface will only dry out the dough more). Flatten the dough to about 1/2 or 3/4 of an inch thick. Using a butter knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into triangles or use a cutter to shape them into rounds.
Place in the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are a medium golden brown.
Remove from heat and serve.