Sunday Dinners in our household are also the weekly occasion where we are allowed dessert. One of our favourites is gooseberry tart. Mum has fond memories of Nana making this when she was growing up and she is now passing these memories onto us.
Gooseberries, if you haven’t tried them before, are little green beachballs which pack an incredibly tart punch. The first time we had them, I was keen to try one uncooked and without sugar, it was a sweaty face level of tartness! However, when combined with a silky, eggy custard these green gems really shine and pop with a delicious tang which is a lovely contrast to the sweetness of the rest of the tart.
For this particular tart, Mum tried using frozen gooseberries with great success! Of course, fresh and local berries are wonderful, we are huge fans of SuJon frozen berries. Excellent quality and an NZ company (though berries are sourced from Chile, to meet demand).
The recipe for this tart comes from Jo Seagar’s book The Cook School Recipes:
1 sheet frozen sweet shortcrust pastry, thawed
2 cups fresh (or frozen!) gooseberries
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon custard powder
icing sugar to dust
Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray a 12cm x 30cm tart tin with baking spray. Roll the sheet of pastry to fit the tart tin. You may need to cut and join the pastry to fit neatly. Place the pastry-lined tin in the freezer to firm up while you top and tail the gooseberries.
Place gooseberries in chilled pastry shell. Whisk crea, caster sugar, eggs and custard powder together until well combined. Gently pour over the gooseberries and bake for 30-35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is set. Dust with icing sugar and serve with runny or softly whipped cream, custard or icecream.
This recipe makes a lot of filling so if you have some left over, you could try what Mum did and make some mini fruit tarts with fruit that you have around. She made some mini apricot tarts which were delicious the next day for afternoon tea.