Sunday, 9 August 2009

A Symbolic Gooseberry Tart

It's gooseberry season again and I have finally got around to making a gooseberry creme fraiche tart - something that's been on my to-do list for ages.

And why symbolic? Well, this tart is the result of the last proper baking session I shall have in my kitchen in it's present state. In a couple of days some nice men will be arriving to take the existing kitchen away and replace it with a nice shiny new one. So, goodbye annoying tiled worktops, goodbye horrid brown sink, goodbye "farmhouse style" brown units, it's been nice working with you but now it's time to move on.

But back to the tart. This particular recipe, Gooseberry Creme Fraiche Tart, comes from James Martin's Desserts. This is a lovely light, summery tart with lots of flavour from the gooseberries and any sharpness in the fruit nicely counterbalanced by the sweetness of the filling. It's also very straightforward to put together. The pastry, in particular, is a dream to roll out thanks to the addition of the egg.

Gooseberry Creme Fraiche Tart
(adapted from Desserts by James Martin)

For the pastry case - makes 300g
200g plain flour
pinch of salt
2 tbsp icing sugar
100g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp iced water

1) Rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mix resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

2) Mix the egg with the water and slowly add to the flour/butter mix. Mix together until it forms a dough (you may not need all of the liquid). Form into a ball and wrap in cling film for about 30 minutes.

To assemble the tart
200g sweet shortcrust pastry (I put the rest in the freezer)
200ml creme fraiche
4 large egg yolks
1 whole egg
100g caster sugar
450g gooseberries, topped and tailed

1) Roll out the pastry and use to line a 23cm, 2.5cm deep, loose-bottomed, greased tart tin. Prick the base all over with a fork and brush with some of the egg white left over from the eggs for the filling.

2) Heat the oven to 190c/375f/gas 5 and put a baking tray in to heat up. Then place the tart tin on the baking tray and bake for 20 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 180c/350f/gas 4.

3) Whisk the creme fraiche, yolks, whole egg and sugar together.

4) Arrange the gooseberries in the pastry case and pour the creme fraiche mixture over the top. Return to the oven for a further 40-50 minutes or until the tart is light golden brown. Allow to cool before serving.


  1. Scrumptious!!! I think I would love this tart. And I am totally jealous of your new kitchen. You must be so excited.

  2. I've never been inclined to use gooseberries in baking, nor have I ever tasted them. I get the impression they are a bitter fruit, am I wrong? Your tart looks delish and I might have to try this fruit and see for myself.


  3. Thanks for the comments :) I wouldn't say gooseberries are bitter as such but they definitely can be very sharp, a bit like rhubarb, and need a fair amount of sugar adding to them.

  4. Hi HFJ, your tart looks gorgeous - I adore gooseberries! Oooooh a new kitchen now that's just wonderful!! Enjoy your new kitchen sweetie :0)

  5. Can you believe I've never tasted a gooseberry (maybe because i am one lol). This tart looks delicious though.