Dänschendorf is a picturesque little farming community on Fehmarn, a German island in the Baltic Sea. A bridge connects Fehmarn to mainland Germany, making the island easily accessible for vacationers seeking sun and sand during the summer months. Visitors flock to the beaches, which are entirely natural except for one “tourist beach” on one corner of the island, where fine grained sand is trucked in (bah, that’s no fun). On many beaches, visitors can rent mini-cabanas for the afternoon or for the entire season. They’re a novelty, pretty comfortable, and offer the advantage of protecting sunbathers from fierce winds that blow from the West and sometimes feel like they might carry you right across the sea, East to Lithuania! Fehmarn is also an easy afternoon cruise away from both Denmark and Sweden, thanks to an active (and inexpensive, if traveling on foot) ferry line.
Considering the island’s northern latitude, it is not surprising that the German food in the region is flavored with a Scandinavian influence. I was pleased, but not surprised, to find fresh red currants at a small Dänschendorf market.
Red currants or Johannisbeeren are small, round berries, translucent red in color and fragile due to their very thin skins. Pop one in your mouth and you’ll find these berries are startlingly tart, almost like cranberries. I find the taste refreshing, but my travel companions were not as impressed. They are, however, quite impressed by the Eis (ice cream) stands dotting the island, so I knew just what to do with these happy little berries.
Red Currant Sorbet is super easy to make – a perfect treat for vacationers and travelers to prepare in a rented apartment, because it requires few ingredients and very little equipment. If you can’t find fresh red currants in your area, try this recipe with raspberries and cut the sugar in half.
4 cups fresh red currants
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup dry (trocken) red table wine
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon zest, optional
Step 1) Puree red currants, sugar, water, and wine all together until smooth.
Step 2) Pour mixture into a shallow glass pan, and place in freezer.
Step 3) Every thirty minutes, stir the mixture gently.
Step 4) Sorbet will be ready to scoop and serve after 2 – 3 hours, depending upon your freezer temperature. Enjoy!