Sunday, 11 July 2010

Gooseberry meringue pie

After the lovely local gooseberry fairy made a surprise doorstep delivery, I thought I should do something more interesting and summery than a crumble or pie. I found this:

Gooseberry meringue pie (Waitrose recipe)

3 egg whites
175g caster sugar

900g cooking gooseberries, topped and tailed
150g caster sugar
3 tbsp cornflour
3 egg yolks

As ever, I made a few edits. I only had 550g gooseberries, so I cut the sugar for them down to 100g. I should have also reduced the eggs to 2, which would have had a knock-on adjustment of the sugar in the meringue to ~180g. As I failed to make this adjustment, there was a bit much filling for the case.

Oh yes, the case was another adjustment as it was too hot to faff about making pastry/I don't have a pie tin, so I bought an 8" sweet pastry shell from Waitrose. However, it wasn't really wide or tall enough for this recipe (thank goodness I didn't have the full 900g of gooseberries!) so it came out looking all meringue with some gooseberry overspill. Moral: make your own.

  1. Put the gooseberries in a pan with 2 tbsp water and 150g caster sugar. Cover and gently heat, stirring, until tender. Some will stay whole; some will become mushy. Strain the mixture through a sieve, set the gooseberries aside and put the strained liquid back into the saucepan. Simmer this until it has reduced to about 200ml. Mix 5 tbsp of this reduced liquor with the cornflour, until smooth. Pour into the saucepan and add the drained gooseberries. Bring to the boil and stir to thicken. Add the egg yolks and stir well to combine. Remove from the heat immediately.
  2. Pour the mixture into the pastry case and leave to cool. With an electric whisk, beat the egg whites in a large, clean bowl until you have medium peaks (when you hold up the beaters the mixture should be firm but the peaks just slightly droop over). Add 1 tbsp caster sugar and beat this in, then continue in the same way, whisking and adding the sugar until you have a stiff, glossy mixture. Spoon this over the tart, making sure that you cover the rim of the pastry and don’t leave any gaps. Bake at 190°C/gas 5 for 25 minutes.

No edits to the method - wow!