Monday, August 16, 2010

Gooseberries--For the Very First Time

Oops, I guess it isn't the first time I've ever played with gooseberries.  I've forgotten the first time I made a gooseberry pie. 

If you had eaten it, you wouldn't have wanted to remember it either.  It was one of the worst things I've ever tasted.  Someone, since I can't remember who right now, who will forever live in unnamed infamy gave me a bag of frozen very green gooseberries.  I made a pie.  It was horrible.  It wasn't edible.  Well, I mean it COULD be eaten, but nobody wanted to.

So, when a very dear friend gave me a gallon zip-loc bag of mixed colors of gooseberries, I decided to try again.  Especially after I ate one and it tasted good. I figured if they were good enough to eat out of hand, they ought to make a good pie. 

So, first I went googling for information to clean, prepare and cook them.  I found several very nice websites and learned the easiest way to top and tail gooseberries is with my fingernails. I messaged my friend for her pie recipe,

Blue Goose Pie

2 cups gooseberries
2 cups fresh or frozen blue berries
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/8tsp salt

Using my favorite pie crust, I made a 4" pie with gooseberries alone, and this Blue Goose pie.  I liked the one with just gooseberries, I made sure to use the darkest berries.  The Blue Goose pie was better the second day and I used the darkest berries there, too.

I froze two cups of the darker berries to use later and used the rest to make gooseberry jam.  I didn't use pectin since some of the information I found said that green gooseberries have lots of pectin in them.  So, I took all the greener ones, There were some pink ones in the batch, added a very little water, (I only had about two cups of berries) and cooked them until soft.  After running them through the sieve, I added as much sugar as juice, and boiled them until it "sheets off the spoon" as my mom says.  It didn't go quite like a remembered, but when two big drops ran together and dropped slowly off the spoon, I put a little on a plate I had in the freezer, and it set up, so I called it good and put it in two little jars. 

I rather like it.  It has a little tartness reminiscent of chokecherries, but since I like choke cherries. I like this too.

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