Gooseberry and mint meringue pie

Gooseberry and mint meringue pie

By
From
The Herb & Flower Cookbook
Serves
6
Cooking time
50 mins

Tinned fruit has become rather unfashionable, but when you’re baking a pie it doesn’t really matter how fresh your filling is as it will always look the same once it has been cooked. Fresh gooseberries are so rare now anyway – they’re such a pain to pick that growers don’t often bother with them – and as mint lasts for so much of the year, you’ll want to make this pie more often than just in high summer. I particularly like it in autumn, as the sharp freshness of the berries and mint is like an antidote to the early darkness.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
flour, for dusting
500g shortcrust pastry
300g gooseberries, fresh or tinned
150g sugar
2 mint sprigs, chopped
100g butter
4 egg yolks
2 lemons, finely zested and juiced
25g cornflour

For the meringue

Quantity Ingredient
4 egg whites
200g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the pastry until thin, circular and about 22 x 22 cm and transfer it to a 20 cm pie dish. Press it into the dish and seal any cracks. Roll the rolling pin over the top to cut away any excess. Cover the pastry with baking paper and weigh it down with baking beans or dried pasta. Place it in the oven and blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove the baking paper and weights and bake for another 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. If using fresh gooseberries, rinse and top and tail them. If using tinned, drain well. Place in a saucepan with the sugar, mint, butter, egg yolks, lemon zest and juice and place the pan over a low heat. Once the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to bubble, remove a few tablespoons of the liquid and whisk it in a bowl with the cornflour until you have a smooth paste. Return this to the pan and stir it all together – be careful, it may spit. Bring to the boil and pour into the pastry case. Set aside and let cool.
  3. Place the egg whites in the clean, dry bowl of an electric mixer and begin to beat them slowly, adding the caster sugar a little at a time. They should become thick and glossy after about 8 minutes – if stiff peaks form when you lift the beater out of the meringue then it’s definitely ready. Carefully spoon it over the gooseberries, using a spatula to spread it out smoothly and evenly. Sprinkle a little extra sugar over the top.
  4. Bake the pie in the oven for 25 minutes until the top of the meringue is pale brown and springy to the touch. Serve immediately, with a generous dollop of cream.

Substitute the mint with...

  • Thyme, rosemary or rose petals.
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