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To make currant jam or use the berry for other culinary purposes, you must first clean the harvested crop. This is necessary because in the process of collecting the fruits, branches, leaves and brushes are torn off along with them. There are several ways how you can peel black currants with the help of available tools.
Before using the currants for their intended purpose, it is necessary to properly prepare the berries. To cleanse the fruits, it is necessary to sort through the entire harvested crop, get rid of damaged and crumpled berries, thoroughly rinse the crop and only then proceed to cleaning and processing.
How to quickly sort the berries?
It is possible to sort black currants even at the harvesting stage, examining each berry. This method will take a very long time, since it is easier to pick berries with brushes, and then select. You can sort out the currants in different ways, using additional devices to simplify the process.
To quickly clean the harvested crop, you can prepare a tray for berries, and next to it, place a board at an angle, which is usually used for cutting food. The whole crop is rolled in portions on the board into a pallet, as a result of which the berries fall into the container, and branches and other foreign elements remain on the surface of the board. For convenience, instead of a board, you can use devices with a ribbed surface so that branches and leaves cling more securely to the protrusions.
With a bowl and cold water
The currants collected with brushes are conveniently cleaned using any capacious container and water. The fruits are poured into a bowl and poured with cold water, after which all the small debris floats to the surface of the liquid. Then it remains to remove the excess parts and remove portions from the bottom of the brush, removing branches if necessary.
Having resorted to this method, it is impossible to fill the crop with hot water, since its effect can lead to a violation of the structure and appearance, as well as to the loss of the original taste characteristics.
Do branches need to be removed?
The process of removing the tails on the berries takes a lot of time, so when making jams and jams, many people put the berries in their original state. The presence of tails on the fruit does not affect the taste characteristics of the finished product. As a result of processing, tails and small twigs are ground, and with further use of currant jam, they do not taste.
Remove the black currant brushes with a fork
Collecting black currants with brushes is convenient, since you do not have to spend time separating each berry from the branches. To get rid of the brushes, you can use a simple fork during the subsequent busting of the crop. To do this, brushes with berries are pulled between the teeth of the forks, as a result of which the fruits crumble.
Using this method, it is important to observe the utmost care, since sharp teeth can damage the integrity of the berries, which will negatively affect their shelf life. Damaged berries should be eaten or processed immediately.
Manual method for red and white berries
There are several ways to sort out the red and white varieties of currants. The most affordable option is manual enumeration to screen out damaged specimens, twigs and leaves.
To simplify the process, you can spread the collected currants on thin paper, wait until they dry completely, and then blow them off with a hairdryer. A stream of weak air will blow away light leaves and twigs and leave fruit. Then it remains only to transfer the currants into a colander, rinse thoroughly and use to create blanks.
How long can the sorted fruits lie?
Harvesting currants is carried out only once a year, so for many gardeners it is important to save the fruit for future use. It is recommended to eat the harvested fruits in rainy weather or send them for processing immediately, since exposure to moisture will quickly spoil them.
If the berry is harvested correctly, then it is allowed to store it in several ways:
- fresh or frozen in the refrigerator;
- in a dried state;
- mashed with sugar;
- as a preparation for the winter.
Before you leave the berry for storage, you need to properly prepare it. To do this, the fruits are plucked from the branches, getting rid of spoiled and wrinkled specimens. Then the crop is thoroughly washed under a weak pressure of water and scattered in one layer to dry.
To store currants for several months, it is best to freeze the crop. The exact timing will depend on the temperature regime and the correctness of preparation. Before putting the fruit in the freezer, it is not necessary to wash it, but it must be thoroughly dried.
The dried fruits are poured onto any flat surface wrapped in cling film and kept in the freezer for a couple of hours. When the berries freeze, they are transferred to cellophane, hermetically sealed and returned to storage.
Being in vacuum conditions, at zero temperature, currants can be stored for about 1.5 months, at a lower temperature - up to 3-4 months. Deep freezing in modern freezers at temperatures below -18 degrees allows you to store the crop throughout the year without losing taste. If it is necessary to defrost the currants, it is recommended to transfer the fruits to the upper shelf of the refrigerator so that they gradually thaw out and do not lose their dense shape.
Also, for long-term storage, you can use the drying method. Fresh berries contain about 85% water, and after drying, up to 15% should remain. You can dry the fruits in the oven, microwave, special dryer, or leave the crop outdoors, in a place with constant air circulation.
Dried fruits are left for further storage in a dark place with a temperature below 20 degrees. A plastic container, glass jars or cardboard boxes are used as a container. If all the above conditions are met, the storage period of the crop reaches one year.