Of English origin, currant whirligig was made in pioneer times with native wild currants. It is
equally good made with other tart berries, such as cranberries.
- 1 cup hot water
- ¾ cup sugar (or ⅔ cup honey*)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups washed black or red currants (or other tart berries)
*If using honey, use cold rather than hot water, and blend the ingredients before heating.
Pour the water into a large saucepan, and heat it over medium heat. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, flour, spices, and salt together. Slowly pour the flour mixture into the hot water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until thickened. Place the washed currants in an 8" x 8" square pan or baking dish, and pour the hot mixture over them. Set the pan in a preheated, 350° F oven while making the dough.
- 1½ cups sifted flour
- ¾ teaspoon soda
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¾ cup lard or shortening
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons milk, soured with ½ teaspoon vinegar*
- ¼ cup sugar or honey
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
*To sour milk using vinegar, pour vinegar into milk. Mix and let sit for 3 to 5 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening, and then add the egg and soured milk. Mix until the dough is stiff. Roll the dough into a 9" x 12" rectangle. Mix the honey and melted butter together, and then spread it over the dough. Roll the dough from the long side as for a jelly roll. Seal the edge by pinching it into the roll, and then cut the roll into 9 short pieces. Remove the berry sauce from the oven, and place the dough swirls at even intervals on top of the hot fruit filling. Bake at 350° F for 15 minutes. Serve warm with or without whipped cream.
Food has a way of bringing the family together and carrying the emotions of family memories with it. Learn more about your pioneer ancestry and gather the family to try some of these historic recipes and to bring a taste of what life was like for your pioneer ancestors into your home.