Summer time, and the gooseberry season comes round again. I’ve previously posted recipes for gooseberry fool and gooseberry jam. Last year, Gabriele commented that meringue-topped tarts or pies are called Baisertorten in Germany, and can be made with gooseberries. So I thought I would try making a gooseberry meringue pie this season. I made the recipe up, and it seems to have worked well. I used green gooseberries, which are the first to come into season, and I should think it would also work perfectly well with red gooseberries. Here’s the recipe:
Gooseberry meringue pie
6 oz (approx 150 g) plain flour
4.5 oz (approx 125 g) butter
2 Tablespoons (2 x 15 ml spoons) icing sugar
1 egg yolk
10 oz (approx 300 g) gooseberries
3 oz (approx 80 g) light brown soft sugar
1 oz (approx 30 g) cornflour
1 egg yolk
2 egg whites
2 oz (approx 50 g) white sugar (granulated or caster)
To make the pastry case
Sieve the icing sugar and mix with the flour
Rub the butter into the flour and icing sugar until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Stir in the egg yolk and mix to a soft dough. In theory, you’re supposed to chill the pastry in the refrigerator overnight. I never do, and it seems to be fine. This quantity of pastry will make enough for two tart cases, so split the dough into two. The second piece can be frozen and used for another tart or mince pies. (Or you could use ready-made pastry if you prefer)
Roll out pastry thickly and line a flan tin about 7 inches (approx 28 cm) in diameter.
Bake the pastry case ‘blind’, i.e. empty, in a hot oven approx 200 C for about 10 - 15 minutes until pastry is set.
To make the filling
Wash the gooseberries. Top and tail them (i.e. cut off the stalk at one end and the remains of the flower at the other).
Put the gooseberries in a pan with the sugar. Heat gently (lowest possible setting) until the gooseberries release some juice, stir to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the fruit is cooked.
Mix the cornflour to a smooth paste with a little water.
Pour the cornflour paste into the gooseberries, stirring all the time. Bring to the boil. It should thicken to a near-solid consistency.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. Beat in the egg yolk. (The spare egg yolk will keep in the fridge for a day or two and can be used in custard tart)
Pour the gooseberry filling into the cooked pastry case.
To make the meringue
Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until standing in soft peaks.
Fold in the sugar using a metal spoon.
Pile the meringue on top of the gooseberry filling in the cooked pastry case.
Bake in a hot oven, approx 180 - 200 C, for 10 – 15 minutes until the meringue is set, crisp and golden brown.
Serve hot or cold. I expect to get 4 – 6 slices out of this recipe, but that depends how big a slice you like. It will keep a day or so at room temperature if you don’t eat it all at one sitting.