I must first address something that happened last week. Our neighbours called our house crude and unattractive and claimed it detracted from the merit of the conservation area it’s in. Meow. When I say ‘called’ our house those things I mean they put into writing and into the public domain their thoughts. Smart like.
I wouldn’t mind but as a semi-detached house our neighbours on the other side, who’ve been nothing but entirely lovely, have also been tarred with the ugly brush.
Let us forget such ridiculousness [for now].
Ma is an accomplished gardener. She really is. One of the best aspects of her green fingers are her fruit bushes. The most successful of which, and my favourite, have to be the blackcurrants. Second favourite are apples but they’re not ready yet, so second this time of year is the gooseberry.
I wasn’t arsed doing anything new at this time of the day, plumping instead for the huggy stalwart the pie. For some reason I always imagine the word pie pronounced with a deep southern American accent. Don’t know why.
This is another do as you like recipe. I used blackcurrants and gooseberries but you can use apples, raspberries or rhubarb etc just be aware that different fruits will make pies of varying sloppiness. Gooseberries are a divil so I upped the cornflour. Rhubarb is also on the sloppy end o’ the spectrum.
This made a charming little 16cm pie.
Oven temperature 180 Celsius
One quantity of pastry as per this amazing recipe.
gooseberries and blackcurrants 400g
Cornflour 2 tablespoons
Caster sugar 1.5 tablepoons
Make some pastry like I showed you before, click on the link above.
Chill the pastry.
Preheat the oven and grease a teeny tiny (15cm diameter, 3cm depth), loose bottomed tin. I used non-stick spray and a dusting of flour. I highly recommend doing that.
Take half of your chilled pastry and roll it out into a circle big enough to cover the base and sides of your tin. I roll mine between two large pieces of clingfilm. Less messy and more maneuverable.
To make the filling, top and tail (that’s just cutting off the tufty bits at either end) of the gooseberries and make sure all the stems have been taken off the blackcurrants.
Pop all the berries in a bowl and spoon in the cornflour and sugar. Give everything a good mix about. It’ll look silly and wrong but the cornflour will help jam-ify the filling so it’s slice-able.
Empty the fruity bowl into the awaiting pastry lined tin. It should be a generous mound of fruit, remember everything will cook down and no one likes a stingy pie.
With the second lump of pastry roll out a second disk big enough to cover the pie.
My pastry was so soft I didn’t need to egg wash my base pastry to stick it to the lid. But if you think you need a little more adhesion in your life than you can use a bit of beaten egg or milk brushed onto the top lip of the pastry in the tin to make sure the lid sticks.
Squish the edges together and cut off any surplus pastry.
Pop the tin, ideally on a baking tray to catch any drips, into the oven. Depending on the fruit of your pie it should take anything from 35 – 50mins for a pie this size.
When it’s cooked the pastry’ll be golden and the fruit good and soft (pierce it with a knife if you’re in doubt).
When it’s ready take it out of the oven and let it cool down completely in its tin before trying to release it from its confines.
Serve with ice cream and tea and an accent of your choosing.