O is quite happy to describe himself as a bit of a Luddite, so I hope I’m not betraying any confidences when I tell you so. It relates to the extent to which he is comfortable (or not) to embrace new technologies. Perhaps the best illustration of this is his endearing persistence in starting all emails to me with a formal, ‘Dear Kate …’ in avoidance of anything more casual. I even received text messages from him in this way until either our need to keep in more regular contact strained his texting thumb or he relaxed his perception of correct wife-husband correspondence.
Anyway – why am I telling you this? Only because I know that the title of this post will either have confused the hell out of him or he’ll be reaching for the psychiatrist’s phone number thinking he’s got a psychotic wife on the loose again. Relax – it’s only a doffing reference to txtspk or emoticons or whatever (you see, I really don’t know any more than O does) because a) we really do love gooseberry pie, and b) I really did make my little pie in a heart-shaped ramekin. And really, how many reallies can you fit into one paragraph without sounding insincere anyway?
So, having completely tied myself up in knots (or should that be ‘tied up myself in knots’?). Ug. Who cares? The pie was good.
Didn’t I tell you?
Oh, sorry. I got a bit side-tracked.
Here’s the story.
O picked our first crop of gooseberries.
I made gooseberry pie.
Which would have been a very short post.
Gooseberry Pie (makes one very small ramekin-sized pie for a first crop of gooseberries)
Your favourite shortcrust pastry
8 oz gooseberries, topped and tailed
4 oz caster sugar
juice and zest of 1 small lemon
2 tsp cornflour
1 oz butter
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Put the gooseberries, sugar, lemon juice and zest in a saucepan. Cook over low to moderate heat until the gooseberries are looking very relaxed and chilled out with life.
Strain the mixture then put the strained gooseberries into a bowl and mix with the cornflour until fully incorporated.
Return the sugary juice to the pan, add the butter and simmer until thickened to a jam-like consistency.
Line your ramekin with pastry.
Mix the gooseberries with enough jam to make a not-too-soggy filling, and scrape into the pastry-lined ramekin. (I had a little extra jam, so made gooseberry snails with the leftover scraps of pastry).
Top the pie with a layer of pastry and seal.
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the pastry is golden and flaky.
This recipe (for what it’s worth) is dedicated to Rose, to whom I sent a heart-shaped ramekin not so very long ago.