Saturday, June 28, 2008

I'm Such a Silly Gooseberry

Remember those gooseberries we bought at the farmers' market this morning?

I might have passed them right up, but as the word "gooseberries" issued from the mouth of the fellow running the local orchard stand, the Renaissance Man perked up. He turned to me and asked, "Have you ever had gooseberry pie?"

Since the answer was no -- actually, I'd never eaten gooseberries before at all -- the smile on his face only settled in more deeply as he decided that we needed to buy enough gooseberries to make a pie this weekend.

Translated: he wanted me to bake a gooseberry pie this weekend.

Well, what could I say? He was willing to buy the berries, and we faced a rainy forecast that precluded much outside work on the Farm, so I agreed.

Once we arrived at the Farm and settled in for the weekend, I headed into the kitchen to rinse and stem the berries and then to make the dough for the pie crust before joining the others in more technical discussions.

Later in the afternoon, I decided to bake the pie ahead of dinner, so I pulled out the dough and the filling and started assembling. Now, in looking up recipes for gooseberry pie, I mixed up a recipe for tarts (requiring a cooked filling and a pre-baked shell) with pie, so I goofed in simmering the berries with sugar, flour, and a bit of water, and it looked awfully wet when I poured it into the pie shell.

No matter -- I just slapped on the top crust, finished it off, and shoved it in to bake while I prepared dinner.

Happily, the pie baked just fine, with only a little leaking around the edge. It smelled wonderful, and everyone saved room after dinner for some fresh pie à la mode.

Yes, the berry juice still spilled out all over the dessert plates, and the filling quickly tried to follow. But we really couldn't complain, because the melting ice cream blended with it to make a creamy sauce for the pie that tasted perfectly sweet and sour.

Though the berries were a deep dusty pink stripe in color and not the pale green we had expected, they tasted pleasingly tart and made the pie filling turn a lusciously girly-girl color -- quite a change of pace from my usual baking!

I guess I don't have to feel quite so silly, then, since it all worked out well!

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At 7/01/2008 7:05 PM, Blogger valereee said...

I was surprised to see the pink filling, too! I thought all gooseberries were pale green.

At 7/01/2008 9:21 PM, Anonymous Janet said...

Not sure how I missed this post. I remember going into the woods when I was a kid and picking gooseberries, which Mom baked into a pie. She and Dad loved it, but I was miffed at the sourness. I'd probably love it now. They were the pale green kind. Sometimes I wonder if they still grow in those same woods I played in so long ago.

At 7/02/2008 7:04 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

valereee, I just looked it up, and apparently the American gooseberry turns pink to wine-red, while the Eurasian gooseberry stays green. I may be oversimplifying that! Maybe the American version is a newer variety? Dunno...

Janet, I only just put up the post, so you didn't miss it. ;-) Glad I could bring back a good memory for you!


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