Monday, 22 July 2013

Gooseberry Frangipane Tarts


The gooseberry bushes haven't performed well this year - the cold Spring meant the blossom was late, and the following dry period has produced much smaller fruits than usual. However, the time for harvesting one bush arrived this weekend - the red gooseberry bush was showing signs of over-ripe dropping fruit. This bush is very small - it never really recovered from some damage when we had a tree felled a few years ago, and it is overshadowed by a huge hazelnut thicket in my neighbour's garden, so doesn't get a lot of light. However, there was 450g of small berries this year.

I decided to pair the gooseberries with almonds to make Frangipane Tarts which could be entered into this month's AlphaBakes Challenge, which uses the letter F. I made basic shortcrust pastry with 200g flour, 100g butter and a little cold water. This was more than enough to line 6 tartlet tins which were about 9cm in diameter. I made the frangipane mixture by beating together 100g of softened butter, 100g ground almonds, 100g caster sugar, 25g plain flour, 2 large eggs and a few drops of almond extract. I half filled each pastry case with this almond mixture, then scattered a handful of gooseberries on top. These tarts were baked at 180C for about 25-30 minutes, until the frangipane was golden and set. After 5 minutes cooling the tarts were removed from the tart mould, to prevent any overflow of fruit juices setting and making the tarts stick.

 
Making the tarts only used about 2/3 of the frangipane and I still had some pastry leftover, so I decided to make a deeper tart too. For this I lined an individual pie dish with pastry and put a deep layer of gooseberries mixed with a teaspoon of flour and two tablespoons of caster sugar into the base. I spread the remaining frangipane on top and sprinkled a few flaked almonds on top. this deeper pie was baked at 180C for 20 minutes, then the temperature was reduced to 160C and the pie was baked until the topping was golden and set - about another 25 minutes, I think.


The shallow tarts were undoubtedly prettier, but the advantage of the deeper tart was that more gooseberries could be used. I think the deep version had a much better flavour because of this - the gooseberries were the star, not the frangipane mixture. With the small tarts the gooseberries didn't seem much more than decoration.

AlphaBakes is a baking challenge hosted jointly by Caroline from Caroline Makes and Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker. Each month a letter of the alphabet is randomly chosen and participants must feature that letter as part of the name of what they make, or as one of the main ingredients. Eg, this month the letter F is for Frangipane (name) or I could have chosen an ingredient such as Figs. The full rules are here, if my explanation is a little confused. Caroline is hosting this month and will post a round up of F-baking at the end of the month!




8 comments:

talesofpiglingbland said...

Hmm, I was forced to eat a lot of goosberries as a kid and hated the way they pop in your mouth (like cherry tomatoes - fine if you cut them in half) but given that I now like most other things I disliked as a child and that these look so good...maybe....just maybe.... can I try one please?!

talesofpiglingbland said...

Ps. Do you call them "goozgogs" in your family, or is that just us?

Suelle said...

Not just you - they're goosegogs here too!

Katie said...

They look fabulous! I've got some green variety goosberries that I didn't know what to bake with - do now!

Jean said...

We call them goosgogs as well!!
These look delicious.

Caroline said...

I imagine the sharpness of the berries would be offset by the sweetness of these tarts and they look really cute. Thanks for entering these in Alphabakes!

Kate@whatkatebaked said...

A delicious combination Suelle- I rarely bake with gooseberries/goosgoggs but your post has inspired me to pop along to our new independent green grocers to see what pickings they have! Unfortunately we don't have a garden - I live my garden/fruit/veg patch dreams through your blog! May be one day...

Baking Addict said...

The two ingredients I dislike - gooseberries and almonds (frangipane) but they look really good! I'm almost tempted to try a bit :) Thanks for entering AlphaBakes.