New Favorite

Gooseberry Tart

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?

GOOSEBERRY TART

1 pound cleaned gooseberries
3 eggs
3.5 ounces of sugar
10 ounces heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pastry:

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.

Servings:  6-8

Family Favorites

Cranberry Bread…tart, sweet and warm from the oven!

Cranberry Bread was a favorite of mine back in the day.  I would make several loaves to give as gifts for the holidays when I young, single and fancy-free in St. Joe, MO.  I’m glad to have this recipe back on my radar screen.  The kids loved it.  The tartness of the cranberries complimented by the sweet dough is wonderfully delicious warm from the oven with butter.

The bread freezes well to make ahead for holiday gifts.

CRANBERRY BREAD

2 cups flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
3/4 cup orange juice
1 beaten egg
1 cup raw cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

  • Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, soda and sugar. Add the orange juice, melted butter, then add beaten egg.
  • Mix well and add the chopped cranberries. Put into greased loaf pan and fill half full of batter.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes and then run knife around the pan to remove loaf.

 

Family Favorites · My Roots

Fresh Gooseberry Cobbler…worth the effort once a year

Gooseberry…a prickly bush with hard green fruit, very sour to the taste.  These green gems were not in my fruit repertoire growing up in Iowa.  When I moved to St. Joseph, MO after college, I was introduced to them but not a big fan. When I met my husband, and his Mother (referred to as Gamma), I was quickly educated on the value of the meager gooseberry.  They coveted a rare can of gooseberries at the grocery store for a pie or cobbler, toting a few cans back to relatives in North Carolina.

When we bought our home several years ago, we HAD to plant a gooseberry bush. Little did I know how prickly these bushes were, until our first harvest.  My arms looked like I had been attacked by a herd of cats.  Now it was time to clean the gooseberries. Holy smokes…it took flippin’ forever!  Each gooseberry has a stem and a brown beard (my term) that need to be removed from the berry. I LOVED it when Gamma visited during gooseberry season. She was content to sit in the shade and do ‘the dirty work’ of cleaning these little devils.  Missin’ you Gamma and not just at Gooseberry time!

I was happy to take it from here and make the gooseberry pie or cobbler, drowning the filling in white sugar to mask the very sour gooseberry flavor. The end result is a very tasty, unique, seasonal dessert.  The fresh gooseberry cannot be matched by a can of gooseberries, but will do if you are having tremendous gooseberry cravings.

This year, I decided to tackle the gooseberry harvest alone.  My 9-year-old Golden Retriever, Joe, decided to help.  His idea of ‘help’ is to guard the berries and then help himself to a gooseberry or two from the harvest.  I truly thought one bite of gooseberry would quickly send him off to another part of the yard.  I was wrong.  Joe LOVES fresh, sour, crunchy, gooseberries.  Silly boy!

For the two quarts of gooseberries needed to make the cobbler, it took over 2 hours of cleaning. Good thing I had a movie to watch!  Cleaning is the hard part, but making the cobbler itself is easy, peasy.  I split the recipe into two smaller pans so I could share one pan with others and save one pan for family.

Gooseberries…worth the effort…once a year (or so)!

GOOSEBERRY COBBLER

FRUIT FILLING

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 quarts Gooseberries
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons butter

TOPPING

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
2/3 cup milk
1 egg, slightly beaten

  • Mix sugar, flour and salt; combine with berries and lemon juice. Pour into a greased 13x9x2″ baking pan; dot with butter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Place in a preheated hot oven (400 degrees) about 15 minutes; be sure that mixture is hot and bubbling.
  • In the meantime, mix the topping. Sift together 2 cups flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add milk and slightly beaten egg to dry ingredients. Stir with fork to blend well.
  • Remove hot fruit mixture from oven. Drop topping mixture onto hot berries, making 12 biscuits.

  • Return to hot oven (400 degrees); bake about 20 minutes, or until biscuits are browned.  Serve warm with ice cream.