I was planning on making concord grape pie, but while I was at the farmers market I found out that they aren’t in season. Silly me for thinking that just because the grapes at the grocery store are perfect, that concord grapes would be in season. But thankfully while I was perusing the stalls I found gooseberries. To be honest, I had never had a gooseberry but I figured I might as well try them. They are light green veiny balls of deliciousness. Similar in texture to a grape, but tart like rhubarb but without the astringency. Gooseberries are very good on their own, better frozen, and marvelous in a pie.
I discovered that while they start out green that they turn more red as they age, as well as get a little mushy in texture; similar to a mushy apple. So be sure to use them fresh. But if they do start to turn on you, freeze them and eat them as a snack on a hot summer day. They are a great refreshing treat, just like frozen grapes.
Ok, so back to the pie.
This pie is awesome! I made a small pie/tart for the 4th of July celebration my family was having and it was a hit! Just about no one had ever had a gooseberry before but everyone who tried a bite loved it. I am definitely adding this recipe to my signature recipe list. I love that it is tart but not overwhelming and sweet with just a hint of warmth from the cinnamon. I also added half of a vanilla bean to the sugar mixture. But I included that in the instructions.
This recipe makes a 9in pie but this is a picture of a 6in pie/tart that I made for the 4th.
makes 1 9in pie
1/4 cup rice cereal
3/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 cups gooseberries, fresh, frozen or canned (feel like you can add more than that)
1 tbsp cold unsalted butter
* 1/2 vanilla bean scrapped (optional)
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp milk (for egg wash) *you don’t really even need the milk*
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Line a 9 in pie pan with 1 rolled out pie crust, then *sprinkle the cereal in the crust in an even layer.
- Put the sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla bean seeds (optional) in a bowl and stir to combine. Drain the berries if using canned, then *stir the berries into the sugar. Spread the filling evenly in the crust, then scatter the butter over the top.
- Brush the rim of the crust with the egg wash, cover with the second rolled out crust, seal, and flute or crimp the edges.
- Brush with egg wash and cut a few *steam vents
- Sprinkle with sugar. I used vanilla sugar, but sanding sugar, or lemon sugar would also be great options.
- Bake 15 minutes then lower the oven temp to 350 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 1 to 2 hrs before slicing. Serve at room temperature.
Tips and tricks
1. Have you ever noticed that when you cut a slice out of a fruit pie, fruit juice tends to pool and make the crust soggy? Adding a thin layer (about a 1/4 cup) of crisp rice cereal, or dried cake crumbles, or even dry cookie crumbles will soak up some or all of those juices. You can either add crisp rice cereal which wont affect the flavor or add something that will enhance it. Such as adding gingersnap cookie crumbles to a pumpkin pie.
2. The sugar mixture wont stick to fresh berries unless they have been washed recently.
3. It is best to brush the top of a pie with egg wash first and then cut steam vents. If you cut steam vents first then the vents are likely to be sealed up by the egg wash and then you get a sliver of egg in your pie.
4. It is always a good idea when baking a fruit pie to put a baking sheet under or on the rack below the pie, you never know when it is going to bubble over.