A couple of Christmases ago, gooseberries popped up at the fruit shop. Christmas is a busy baking time for me, so rather than try and deal with the gooseberries immediately, I popped them into the freezer. There they stayed until now, and as you can imagine, they became a little the worse for wear.
I had selected the recipe for my gooseberries some time ago - a Gooseberry Meringue Tart on p71 of Pastry by Michel Roux. However, I could not seem to get the motivation to make it - it all seemed like to much effort. Until now ...
Last weekend, I had to make pastry for Baking with Julia. I ended up with some pastry left over, and I thought it would be perfect to make a small tart case for my gooseberry tart. I was on my way!
To make this tart, you need a blind baked pastry case, which you fill with crème patisserie:
then top with poached gooseberries:
and finally top with meringue. The end result is pastry perfection:
This tart was absolutely scrumptious - light to eat, with sweet balanced by sour. It was dessert heaven.
I had to cut down the recipe in proportion to the number of gooseberries I had, but in the end, I think it turned out alright.
For the pastry, I used the offcuts from the yoghurt tart - recipe for a full batch is here. You only need enough pastry to line a 4" inch tart pan. Blind bake the tart shell.
For the filling, I made a crème patisserie using one sixth of Michel Roux's recipe:
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon plain flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
Whisk the egg yolk with a teaspoon of sugar to a ribbon consistency, then whisk in the flour. Heat the milk with the rest of the sugar in saucepan and the vanilla essence, and as soon as it boils, pour it onto the egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Once combined, pour the mixture back into the saucepan, bring to the boil, and allow it to cook for a couple of minutes until thickened. Spread over the base of the tart shell.
I then poached approximately 125g of gooseberries in 2 cups of water and one cup sugar in a small saucepan for around 10 minutes, drained off the syrup and layered the poached gooseberries on top of the crème patisserie.
Finally, I made a meringue topping by beating one egg white with 25g of sugar to stiff peak stage, and piled it in snowy peaks over the top of my tart. I then baked the tart at 190 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes until the meringue was golden.
I then removed the tart from the oven and allowed it to cool to room temperature before eating it. Nom!