-From June, 2019-
It's the first week of June, and many of our gooseberries are getting enormous! I've read that it is a good habit to harvest about half of the berries from the bushes at this point, and leave the other half to ripen on the bushes. Removing the number of berries will help the plants to put their energy into developing the remaining berries.
I'm aiming to leave the smaller, rock-hard, darker green berries to continue to ripen, and collect the large, lighter green berries for pies, etc. Even though these are still a light green, and haven't turned their blush pink, or dark purple (depending on the variety), a fresh one still tastes a little sweet, with a pleasant tartness. These will be excellent for pies or crumbles!
I have mostly Pixwell gooseberries, although I've amassed several over the years from other gardens, so I have a few different mystery plants. After a bit of trial and error, I've found the best way to harvest berries is cutting them off at the stem with a sharp knife, and tailing them right away. It may feel tedious at the time, but it's so much easier when they're fresh and dry.
I was craving a gooseberry pie or crumble. I happened to have enough dough in the fridge for a single pie crust, so crumble it was! I have to eat gluten free, and I've tried so many different pie crust recipes. The perfect, fail-proof gluten free pie crust recipe is found in America's Test Kitchen's The How Can it Be Gluten Free Cookbook (and also on the ATK website). The cookbook is worth investing in, if you are also gluten free!
I rolled out the pie dough, and made up the bottom crust in an 8" pie plate.
Here's the recipe I used for pie filling. I did find that I needed a few more tablespoons of water in the pan while heating the berries up.
You just want enough to keep the berries from getting singed on the bottom of the pot. I may have also added a bit more nutmeg....okay, doubled it.
Since I only had a single crust made up, I opted for a crumble topping. This is my preferred crumble topping recipe.
I baked it at 350F for 30-35 minutes. You may want to cover it with foil at some point if the crust or crisp is approaching the over-browned point.
And tah-dah! Gooseberry crumble. It made the whole house smell amazing. The sugar to tartness balance was perfect, and I loved how the crisp topping had a sturdy structure to it, and held together in crispy chunks. It was absolutely delicious, and perfect with a couple scoops of vanilla ice cream.