Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gooseberry and Sour Cherry Crumble

Of all the desserts I have ever made I was the saddest to not have any leftovers of this one.

Those precious little gems above? Those are gooseberries. My mother LOVED gooseberries. One day after driving home from somewhere far away, like Dallas or something, she walked in the door and said 'I'm making a gooseberry pie'. She made really really good pies. Gooseberries were her all time favorite berry. She had stopped at a roadside stand and picked up a quart. It was a life changing pie for me. But her gooseberries were green. And I never saw them again. I have never seen them in a grocery store. I am not saying they aren't there, but I think they might be too delicate for widespread distribution.

When Thing 1 and I got to the farmer's market last weekend, these plump flirtatious berries were just sitting there. They were liken sirens (like Homer's sirens, not police sirens). I could not leave them there. When I prepped them at home (they have little stemmies on both sides) I tasted one raw. These delicious beauties tasted like raspberries and red wine. They are pretty tart, but man oh man so good. I only bought a pint and that was not quite enough for a pie. So I got took a couple handfuls of the sour cherries that I got before we went on vacation out of the freezer. I mixed everything together with maybe 2/3 of a cup of sugar. And because I was also cooking a huge dinner, I didn't have time to make a full-on double crust. So I mixed up some crumble topping and went on my way. I just plopped the berries and cherries into the pie pan and spread the topping over them. It was very easy and very satisfying.

Crumble Topping
1/3 of a cup of one minute or quick oats
1/3 of a cup of flour (I used brown flour, you could probably use whole wheat, certainly you could use all purpose or white flour)
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/4 of a cup of sliced or slivered almonds (crushed walnuts would be good too)
4 tablespoons of butter cut into chunks

Combines all ingredients except the butter. Mix together well in a large bowl with room enough for working. Cut the butter and using your fingers (or one of those pastry thingies) work the butter in the same way you would in a pie crust. When the butter is incorporated and the mix resembles coarse meal, pour the topping onto your fruit (the fruit should already be in the pie pan). I suggest starting in the middle and working the crumbs to the sides slowly otherwise it could get messy. Bake at 350 for about 50 minutes.

What an amazing flavor. Really a treat. This would be delicious with fresh ice cream, but I had none. So we poured fresh cream over the top. I might never bother whipping cream ever again. I wanted two bowls of this, but there was not enough for seconds. It was the only thing with no leftovers.


  1. If there is not a crust on the bottom it is technically a cobbler. It looks amazing and I really like your crumble topping. I might put it on top of my next carrot cake (DH does not like iceing so we do crumble topping instead)

  2. Yum!
    My brother's favorite pie is gooseberry. My mom remembers picking green gooseberries as a child and eatting them as she picked them. She loved the sour taste. I've only ever seen green. If I could find the bushes I'd plant them, or buy them for my brother(a much better gardener than I) to plant.
    I looked all over the city for cans of gooseberries for his birthday last year. This year his wife got hold of a small grocer who was willing to order her a case.
    If I found fresh I'd squeel!

  3. I am so glad to hear that gooseberries evoke passion in others. I think I should have bought everything that I could last week. At the Union Square market yesterday no one had them :( Hopefully my go to orchard will still have them next weekend!!