Last week was a glorious week of balmy summer weather. the gooseberry bush (that we adopted with the house) was heaving with bright green fruits. screaming: "hey, pick me! don't forget about me like last year!" the big question was: what do you do with all those gooseberries? gooseberry fool pops into everyone's mind but, what else? after browsing my Bookshelf, I came across recipes for savoury uses like, a sauce for pork or mackerel, and sweet ones like: a pie, jam or chutney. the pie recipe jumped out at me, as well as a seasonal pairing of elderflowers. its that time of year too! bring on the elderflower champagne!
pies can be off-putting to some, I think its the act of making pastry, im not sure. there is a bit of time involved with rolling out pastry, making the filling and baking the pie. then of course the stomach puncher of waiting for the pie to cool, at least 30 minutes. who can wait that long? there's no doubt that a pie cooling on the window sill is one of the most wholesome pictures a home baker can recreate. along with the first slice, perfectly wedged and plated, with cream or custard. Bliss, and totally worth the wait!
my intention was to make this recipe gluten free, but time got to me and I was unable to get into town and buy the ingredients. I used pastry from the Bakery for this pie, I would recommend using any pastry recipe you have had success with in the past. you might even be able to by premade pastry from your local bakery? just ask! tell them what you're making and you just might become their new favourite customer. bring them a slice for extra 'pie points'.
Gooseberry Elderflower Pie
Makes 1- 9" (23cm) Double-Crusted Pie
Note: this pie is a slight mouth puckerer, in a true gooseberry-y way. if you like that use the smaller amount of sugar, if you prefer a bit more sweetness go with the larger amount. this pie is also a bit tedious, only because each and ever Gooseberry must be topped and tailed. so turn on your favourite summer tunes and go with it. in ten minutes you'll be finished. the rest is breezy.
900g fresh Gooseberries, topped and tailed
200g - 275g sugar (see above note)
4 heads of elderflower blossoms, in full bloom
1 Tablespoon corn flour (corn starch)
premade pie pastry, homemade or store bought, for good recipes click: here, here or here
- preheat your oven to 180C (350F)
- place all your ingredients except the corn flour in a saucepan with a splash of water, bring to a simmer on medium heat.
- stirring let cook until the berries have released their juices and turn pale, but before they fall apart.
- strain the fruit collecting the juices. then remove the elderflower stems.
- place the juices back into the saucepan and reduce on medium high heat for ten minutes
- mix the corn flower with 1 tablespoon cold water to dissolve then stir into reduced juices, let bubble away until sauce goes clear
- the juices are ready when you can pull your spoon through them and see the bottom pan for a second or two. (see above photo)
- stir into cooked gooseberries, cool slightly
- roll out your pastry to 1/4 cm thickness and place into the bottom of a deep 9" (23cm) pie dish leaving an edge around your dish.
- spoon in the gooseberry filling and spread out evenly
- roll out more pastry and place on top of filling, trim off excess and crimp the edges together
- glaze with some beaten egg and make steam vents in the top pastry
- bake for roughly 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours, until really golden and bubbly. if pastry starts to get too brown cover with tin foil at end of baking time