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Strawberries it seems go with everything, at the early end of it a friend introduced me to a Strawberry and rhubarb tart along with strawberry and rhubarb jam , both excellent combinations and this version with gooseberries instead of rhubarb is another new to me excellent combination. The heady sweetness of ripe Strawberries goes very well with tart gooseberries, although at this tie of our season the gooseberries are rather sweeter than their tart early summer flavor. Recipe originally seen in Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall’s column in The Observer, tweeked a little here.
200g gooseberries, topped and tailed
200g strawberries, hulled and halved
75g caster sugar, plus a little extra to finish
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp ground almonds
1 egg white, lightly beaten
You can make a pastry, a sweet shortcrust is best but if you don’t have time or have ‘hot handed’ failures all the time the packet stuff works quite well.
200g plain flour
1 heaped tbsp icing sugar
Pinch of salt
120g cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
For the pastry, mix the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl add the butter and rub between your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and enough water to bring it together into large clumps. Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead lightly into a ball. Wrap in a plastic bag, or clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
Combine the berries, sugar and lemon zest, and set aside to macerate for 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment or nonstick liner.
On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to a rough circle, 2-3mm thick and about 35cm in diameter, and transfer to the baking tray. Sprinkle the ground almonds evenly over the top without going right to the edges. Spoon the macerated fruit and some juices over the pastry leaving a 3-4cm border. Fold the border inwards over the fruit, brush the pastry edges with the egg white and sprinkle with more caster sugar.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is a deep gold. It will leak, that’s part of the good bit so put a catchall tray under the pie unless you like cleaning your oven!
Serve warm, with cream or ice-cream.
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