Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Easy Peasy Gooseberry Pie.

Don’t worry, I’m not going all autumnal like the rest of the web seems to be. Sometimes, you just need pie. You particularly just need pie when you buy gooseberries because you’re excited to see them on the shelf but don’t have enough to do preserving with them and aren’t reeeeeally sure how else you might eat the sour little chaps.

This is a brill pie for those new to pastry or those not new to pastry but who just can't be bothered with the faff of finesse, or maybe you love making pastry, it comes easy to you, but you’re just having one of those days that requires bishbashbosh sort of baking.

There’s no worrying about blind baking or shrinking or getting the right size tin. Just roll and scrunch and bake.

And this wonkyness adds charm and homemade lovelyness which will make people love it, and you for making it, even more than a fancy pants, jealous making perfect pie. So go on, make a pie. Bishbashbosh. With Love and Cake.

Free form Gooseberry Pie.
Adapted from my ol' mucker Delia and her Summer Collection.

A few notes:

  • You can either make the pastry by hand or whizz everything together in a food processor...I swing between one method and the other. This time though, getting the food processor felt like an effort too far so I did it old school style.
  • This makes a fairly small pie, I halved Delia's recipe. It'll feed 2 hungry boys or, if you've eaten a nice big meal first will just about stretch to 4 dainty portions.
  • You can mix it up and make the pie with any fruit really, just adjust the amount of sugar you sprinkle over it to taste, gooseberries are particularly sour, something like strawberries would need less. Cherries would be divine.
  • I served mine with creme fraiche spiked with elderflower cordial.
Serves 2-4
You will need

1 lined baking sheet

For the pastry
90g plain flour
40g butter, cubed
1-ish tbsp cold water

For the rest
1 egg, separated
1 tsp semolina or polenta
250g gooseberries
1 tbsp caster sugar
1-2 tsp demerara sugar

  • First for the pastry. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add the water and start to bring everything together to form a dough. You may need a teensy bit more water but only add it a bit at a time...wet is NOT best here.
  • Form the pastry into a disc, wrap in clingfilm or pop in a food bag and rest in the fridge for half an hour.
  • When it's nice and chilled...you're ready to make a pie.
  • Get the oven on to 200°c.
  • Now roll out your pastry, on a lightly floured surface, to about the size of a large dinner plate.
  • Transfer this to your lined baking sheet. It doesn't matter if the pastry disc is a bit too big at this point, you're about to fold it up a bit.
  • Brush the pastry all over with the egg yolk and sprinkle over the semolina. This will stop you getting a soggy bottom.
  • Pile your fruit into the centre of the pastry disc, leaving a border of 5-10cm.
  • Sprinkle the caster sugar over the fruit.
  • Now fold the edges of the pastry in towards the centre, creating a rather ramshackle looking edge to your pie. Ramshackle is good here.
  • Brush the outside of the pie with egg white and sprinkle all over with lots of crunchy demerara sugar.
  • Get the pie in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, at which point it should be golden and crispy round the edges.
  • Serve with ice cream, thick double cream or cool creme fraiche. Just pie.

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