Gooseberry and Port Pie

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

When somebody mentions Gooseberry Pie I always imagine a cottage in the wood, chimney smoking and freshly baked pie sitting on the window sill. Am I thinking of Snow White? Possibly...
Another image is Bree Van de Kamp of Desperate Housewives knocking at my door with a steaming pie covered by a red Gingham check cloth. Both images, I like. I like the thought of offerings of pie and  can think of nothing better than serving up a warm dish of sweet fruit with a buttery, crumbly pastry top to family. Here, enters my own gooseberry pie. My Mum had grown a crop of gooseberries last year and I couldn't resist the opportunity to make my first fruit pie for the blog.
So, here we are. I adapted a recipe by a Greg Wallace that you can find here, and went on to enjoy a very lovely afternoon in the kitchen.

For Gooseberry and Port Pie you will need:

For the filling:
900g gooseberries
180-220g caster sugar (add to more or less to your taste)
2 tbsp port

For the pastry: 
90g soft, unsalted butter
65g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
200g plain flour

To begin, make the sweet pastry, or pâte sucrée. Start by creaming the butter and sugar together.

Separate your egg yolks from the whites and beat together.

Add the eggs in gradually and combine until the mixture is smooth.

Add in the flour in and mix together with a spoon until a ball of dough is formed.

Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Whilst your pastry is chilling, focus on your gooseberry filling.
Gooseberries are underrated, if you're on the fence - try this pie. I certainly was not disappointed with their ability to wow.

Put the gooseberries in a saucepan and pour in the sugar. Mix together and put the heat on.

Add the port. I like the smell of port, if you do too, give it a cheeky sniff.

Add the two tablespoons of port in now and stir through.

Simmer until the fruit is soft and sweet to your taste.

Now roll out the pastry. You're only making a pie lid so you don't need to split the dough.
At this point, you need to preheat your oven to 190c.

Empty the fruit into a pie dish that is about 25cm wide.

Top with the pastry, crimp the edges with a fork and decorate with any spare cuttings of pastry. Slice a cross in the middle of the pie to release steam and sprinkle the whole thing with sugar.
Bake for 30 minutes until the top is crisp and golden.

Serve with cream or just with a fork and a solitary sitting!

Forgive the Bree pose, I'm just practising...!

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