Not known for my culinary skills, this week I decided to take on the challenge of making the simplest possible pie with the Gooseberries which we’ve ‘thinned out’ from our Gooseberry bushes.
The bushes were laden with fruit and bowing with the weight, and I read that if you pick every other one when they are small, this will leave room for the others to grow into juicy lovelies. We gave the patch a good weed, picked off half the fruit (Ouch ! – a word of warning use gloves and long sleeves for this – Mother Nature doesn’t want to give them up without a fight !) and used some stakes and string to form a support to keep the fruit off the ground. Mr O then turned his hand to constructing a fantastic new cover for the bushes, using the dismantled frame of an old plastic greenhouse and some netting. This frame can be lifted on and off the bed with ease (he’s made the same for our Strawberries) and is so much easier than using canes and netting which can make for difficult access.
Looking through the cookery books, I wanted a pie recipe which was simple and quick – it’s just too warm to be standing for hours in a hot kitchen at the moment (that was my excuse & I’m sticking to it !) I have quite a sweet tooth, and thought that these early Gooseberries might be far too sour for a pie (the uncooked ones certainly were). With this amount of sugar however, the finished pie tasted really delicious with just enough ‘tartness’ to give it a fruity kick. This is what I did.
Simple Rookie Gooseberry Pie –
400g Gooseberries – washed, topped and tailed
320g Roll of prepared uncooked shortcrust pastry
Line a shallow dish with half the rolled out pastry. Place the uncooked Gooseberries in the dish. Cover with the sugar. Top the dish with the other half of the pastry. Trim and crimp the edges and prick the top of the pie. Sprinkle the top with sugar. Cook on 170C for 1 hour or until golden brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with a bit more sugar for luck. Eat with cream or ice-cream. Simple and yum.
Amazingly, a couple of days after picking the fruit, the remaining Gooseberries swelled and turned from green to red. I know where those little fellas are headed – hurrah !