Lola and Finn's Mum

Lola and Finn's Mum

Saturday, 8 September 2012

From the garden: Gooseberry and Elderflower Filo Pie

I have neglected my garden now for about six years, funnily enough about the same time I have had children, but there are still some things that thrive in there apart from bindweed. Hidden here and there amongst the overgrowth are little glimmers of the past where I had fruit plants from which I had this romantic notion that I would have bumper harvests all the time and would whisk them away to the kitchen and so something marvellous with them. Being a) not talented in the garden department, and b) living in a country where Summer happens in March and a few days in September, means that my attempts have been met various levels of failure, but if there is one thing that can be guaranteed to bring forth something I can do something with, it is my very thorny gooseberry bushes and my unwieldy blackberry bushes, both of which seem to thrive in grey cloud and sodden soil it would seem.
So, this year's crop of red tinged sourness was initially frozen by me in two plastic bags because I was about to go to France and couldn't really do them much justice. But, once returned I had plans for one of the bags and this is the result, a Nigel Slater inspired gooseberry filo pie. I currently have lots of filo pastry which I bought when I did my supermarket shop in Calais before returning to the UK, and pastry in all its forms is cheaper and in many cases better than I can make, plus it speeds up stuff. Sometimes I like to make quiche on a whim. How exciting.
The alteration I made to this recipe was that I added a little elderflower cordial to the gooseberries. If you have never had gooseberries and elderflower together, then you really, really should. It is so amazingly tasty. It does make for a filling that is a little liquidy, but that pleases me in all honesty as I can then pour a little cream on it and make it even better. Crispy filo, tart gooseberry liquor, unctuous cream. I can think of little better.
Gooseberry Filo Pie, adapted from Nigel Slater's recipe in the Guardian newspaper
Serves Mum and Dad twice, whilst Lola and Finn had an ice cream from the freezer (yes, I failed)
350g gooseberries
1 tbsp elderflower cordial
80g caster sugar
125g ground almonds
50g butter
6 leaves of filo pastry
A little Demerara sugar
Cream, to pour over
Top and tail the gooseberries, removing any stalks and dried flowers. Put the berries in a bowl, add the caster sugar, elderflower cordial and the ground almonds and toss them gently together.
Melt the butter, then brush a little of it on the base of a 22cm metal baking dish or shallow cake tin. Lay a piece of filo pastry in the tin, leaving the edges overhanging the sides, then brush it with butter. Add a second sheet and continue, layering and brushing until all the sheets are used.
Set the oven at 180C/gas mark 4 and place a baking sheet on the oven shelf.
Tip the gooseberries into the baking dish, then pull the over-hanging pastry sheets into the middle to lightly cover the berries. If you twist the pastry sheets as you do so you get interesting folds and ripples and the crust will crisp nicely. Brush lightly with butter and sprinkle with Demerara sugar. Note: My pastry sheets were thicker than the filo pastry I buy here, and as such wouldn't fold down in the way I wanted them initially. I folded them as I could, brushed the top with butter and then put a saucer with a tin of beans on the top of the filo to get it to 'lie down'.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, on the hot baking sheet (the extra heat will help the base to cook, although it will always be slightly soft) till the top of the pastry is crisp and golden.
Serve hot, or warm, with cream.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Stella.... this pie looks delicious. I remember we use to have a couple of 'gooseberry' bushes when I was growing up. Funny I mentioned to my husband before that I should grow a gooseberry bush and he didn't know what I was talking about.
    I would love a bite of your pie........ I never see any gooseberries around the markets for I guess at the flower nursery I'll ask around and maybe plant one in my backyard. Thanks for sharing your recipe and great pics. :-)


Thank you for taking the time to drop by!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...