Gooseberry bushes are prickly and the berries are tedious to clean but gooseberries lovers are willing to sacrifice for the greater good of a delicious, seasonal tart, pie, or cobbler. My gooseberry picking buddy, Joe the Golden Retriever, was anxious to eat these sour gems again this year. I decided to try giving a raw gooseberry to my grand-dogs as well with an equally positive response. Who knew that gooseberries were a treat of choice for the canine crowd?
I love the slight sweetness of this crust and the creamy custard surrounding the cooked gooseberries. My kids and their spouses, however, turned up their noses at my creation since they cannot fathom eating gooseberries. Oh well…more for the rest of us. Someday…they’ll wish they had a piece, right?
1 pound cleaned gooseberries
3.5 ounces of sugar
10 ounces heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.2 cups flour (or more to reach desired consistency)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup very cold, unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
a little ice cold water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Make the pastry by processing the flour and sugar together. Chop the cold butter into small pieces and add to the flour and sugar. Pulse (or blend by hand) until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Mix the egg yolk with a little ice-cold water. Add to the flour mixture and pulse until the pastry forms a soft ball. Add ice-cold water if needed to achieve desired consistency. Chill the dough for a minimum of 30 minutes.
- Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and place on floured surface. Roll to fit the tart pan and place in pan. Pierce the bottom and sides of the pastry with a fork. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
- Combine eggs, sugar, cream and vanilla extract. Place gooseberries in bottom of tart pastry and pour egg mixture over the top. Bake for 30 minutes until the center is firm.
Norwegian Christmas Bread (Julekake) brings back fond memories of our elderly Iowa friends, the Butlers. Growing up, Anna would bake Julekake, Kringla, and Lefse to share with friends. She would brew a strong cup of coffee for adults and children to enjoy with the seasonal treats. A cup of hot coffee with a toasted slice of Julekake and butter, at Anna’s oak table was the best. Today, I sit at the same oak table in my dining area thinking of the wonderful stories and memories created in that small farm-house so many years ago.
Kringla is an annual tradition with Julekake only every few years. Kneading bread dough is hard for me so I’ve included, along with the traditional recipe, my version for the bread machine. This year I borrowed daughter Sarah’s Kitchen Aid mixer to make the traditional recipe, which I split into two parts to accommodate the smaller size of the mixer.
NORWEGIAN CHRISTMAS BREAD
This is the original Christmas bread recipe from Norwegian family friend, Anna Butler
2 packages dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup chopped citron or candied pineapple
3 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup butter
2 cups raisins
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped candied cherries
2 beaten eggs
1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom
10 to 11 cups flour
- Dissolve yeast in warm water.
- Scald milk and then add butter, salt and sugar. Cool to lukewarm. Add to yeast mixture and add 1/2 flour and eggs. Beat well.
- Add fruit and cardamom and remaining flour to make light dough. Knead and place in a greased bowl. Let rise until light.
- Knead and let it rise again.
- Shape into 5 loaves and place in greased bread pans. Let rise 1 hour or until light. Brush tops with egg yolk mixture of beaten egg yolk and water.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. After removing from oven, brush top with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar
NORWEGIAN CHRISTMAS BREAD (ADAPTED FOR THE
This is a conversion of the original Christmas bread recipe from Anna Butler
1/6 cup lukewarm water
1 cup scalded milk (cooled to lukewarm)
1/3 stick melted margarine
1 small beaten egg
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/6 teaspoon cardamom
3 to 3.3 cups flour
1 package yeast
2/3 cup raisins
1/6 cup citron
- Place ingredients in bread machine in the order given but put raisins and citron aside.
- Start bread dough in knead mode and add raisins/citron when your bread machine prompts for add-ins.