Ah, baking! The cold butter, the making of dough, the creation of rustic, homemade pies…does it get any better?! Not in my book at least. Especially when you’ve had a crazy few weeks. Between moving and working like a crazy person, de-stressing was all I needed. That meant it was time to bake again. This week I was excited to make these Gooseberry and Blueberry Mini Tarts from the Food Network.
I love, love, love gooseberry pies. Like I really love them a lot. My mom and aunt have made them my whole life and my sister and I get quite protective about our gooseberry pies over the holidays. It’s kind of a guarding the dessert area and steering the natives towards the pecan and pumpkin pies sort of thing. So when I had some fresh gooseberries on hand for the first time ever, I couldn’t wait to try something new with them and I’d never combined gooseberries with blueberries before…so here we go!
With the tartness of the gooseberries, and slightly less tart blueberries, the tartlettes needed some sweetness. This came in the form of some caramelized sugar pieces that got placed on each tart.
So here’s how these tartlettes came together…it was definitely a multi-step process. First start with the dough. I’d use your favorite pie crust recipe here. I used the one that Food Network referenced in the recipe and it worked well, however despite my minimal handling of the dough and keeping it refrigerated frequently, it still was very tender and fell apart on me a bit. So if you have a go-to pie crust, definitely use that.
Second, you had to caramelize the sugar. I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve done this, so it was definitely a learning process. While the directions said to heat the sugar in a pan over low heat, I had to crank the heat up slightly to get the sugar to start breaking down for me. But once I did, the caramelizing process happened pretty quickly. Once it’s all caramelized, just pour the sugar onto a greased pan (or use your handy, dandy Silpat). Once it cools break it up into small pieces and set it aside.
Finally it’s time to put together the pies. Place the gooseberries and blueberries into a dish, and sprinkle sugar and flour over the top and grate some fresh nutmeg over the flour. Then set it aside and don’t stir the berries up. Then you’ll cut the dough up and roll it into small rounds to fit the mini pie pan. Place the dough inside the greased pie pans and then put filling in the middle of the dough. You’ll pull the edges around the pies like you would a tart and leave an opening in the center. In that opening you’ll put a pat of butter and a piece of the caramelized sugar. Then just bake away and before you know it, you’re looking at some gorgeous tartlettes!
It’s completely adorable but also tastes awesome. I loved that the blueberries and sugar helped tone down the tartness of the gooseberries but it doesn’t completely disappear. It was rustic, gorgeous, and can we all take a moment and appreciate when you have a small tart that forces portion control on you?! I know I can!
So next time you find yourself with fresh gooseberries, you definitely have a fun recipe to bake up. Click here for the recipe and step by step instructions.
A look back:
One year ago: Something from the Sea – Shrimp Scampi!
Two years ago: Egg Roll: To Bake or Not to Bake…Not Even a Question!
Three years ago: Orzo with Artichoke Hearts and Peas