Saturday, July 16, 2011

Blue Goose Pie!

So, I'm not sure if you guys know this, but I'm a little country. I grew up in a small town and had family I spent time with in even smaller towns. My grandpa was a farmer and my grandma bestowed upon me the love of plants I have to this day. I'd like to be mostly self-sufficient one day, and I daydream about the earth-sheltered home and farm I'm gonna own (did I also mention the goats? 'Cause there will be goats). So anyway, what I'm saying here is that I'm no stranger to going out into the wild and venturing forth with tasty forest produce. It's in my roots!

A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend and I went out to his parent's house to go hunt some gooseberries. I promised him a gooseberry pie (since boys seem to like pie) and in order for that to happen I had to get ahold of some berries. The wild gooseberry (F: Grossulariaceae) is one of the most common shrubs in forests here in my part of Missouri. It is a notoriously sour berry, but once made into a pie it has a sort of sour apple-grape flavor (in a good way, especially with some rice-cream!). The berries are plump, round, and green, with effing thorns all over the branches and at the end of the berry. There are cultivated varieties of gooseberries, but pfft, who needs that? The wild ones are just as tasty! Besides, I think they still have thorns, lol. And, you still have to pull both ends (the dried flower and the stem) off the berry. This is the part that I wish I had an army of eight-year-olds for, since it can take awhile (8 was about the age I got conned into doing this...):

Anywho, gooseberry pie is well-known to older Midwestern people, but most people my age haven't tried it... unless they have a grandparent with a bush out back. Gooseberries are ripe in the woods right now, (**disclaimer alert**) but I do not advocate eating anything in the woods unless you know EXACTLY what you are eating. I also don't claim any responsibility if you hunt and eat the wrong thing (just gotta be cautious here).

I had originally intended on baking a regular old gooseberry pie, but the other night an older guy at work (who's quite and awesome baker himself), mentioned how he had a Blueberry-Gooseberry Pie and it was a million times more amazing than the plain ones. Since organic blueberries are everywhere right now for a good price, I knew that that was the pie I was going to make!

 "Those things look like peas and they keep messing with my head!"

This pie turned out awesome! My boyfriend had two slices as soon as he saw it! I also used a different pie crust recipe and it was way better than that sorry one I was using before. This one makes a little more crust so it's easier to cover everything. It is absolutely my favorite crust recipe from now on, and it can be used to make things sweet or savory (mmm... empanadas...). Also, when I say "a pinch", I guess I mean about 1/8 of a teaspoon. You can make the crust, wrap it up real tight in plastic wrap and store it in the fridge for up to three days or place it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a week.

Blue Goose Pie:
Recipe for a double pie crust (recipe follows)
2 1/2 c. fresh or thawed gooseberries
2 c. fresh blueberries
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 c. turbinado sugar
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. fresh lemon peel
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cinnamon
1 Tb. Earth Balance

Flaky Pie Crust:
2 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
a pinch of salt
1 c. cold Earth Balance, cut into cubes
1/3 c. ICE water, plus a couple of tablespoons.

To make the crust:
In bowl, whisk flour with salt. With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until in coarse crumbs with a few larger pieces. Stirring briskly with fork, drizzle 1/3 cup of the ice water over flour mixture until pastry holds together, if necessary sprinkling dry spots with more water, 1 tbsp at a time, until pastry holds together.

Divide the pie crusts in half (as evenly as possible). On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the halves to about a 1/4" thickness and place it into a 9-inch pie pan. Trim the edges and place the pan in the fridge to chill. Roll out the second half to about 1/4" thickness and place it on a rimless baking sheet and place it into the fridge to chill as well. Pie crusts take practice, so just keep on making them pies if it doesn't turn out. I kid you not, this is the first time that both my bottom crust completely covered my pan and the top crust covered my filling!

I was so stoked it covered the bottom that I danced. Seriously.

Now, move on to making the filling!

To make the filling:
1. In large bowl, toss together the gooseberries, blueberries, and lemon juice.
2.In small bowl, stir together the turbinado sugar, flour, lemon rind, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon; sprinkle over berries and toss to coat.
3. Scrape into chilled pie shell. Dot with Earth Balance.

It is at this point I would like to show you all the ridiculous mess that I was in the process of making:

I get a little ridiculous...

4. Brush pastry on rim of pie shell with water, fit pastry top over filling. Trim, seal and flute edge (MAKE YUMMY PIE CRUSTIES!). Cover edge of pie with aluminum foil.
5. Cut a few slits in the top shell so steam can escape. Bake in bottom third of 425°F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake 25 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil edging and bake another 15 minutes or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly. Let cool on rack. The pie will be oozy until it has completely cooled, then it should hold up nicely to slicing.

Everybody likes pi!

Serve with your favorite vegan ice cream or whipped "cream" because you really got to have it in order to balance the flavors of this particular pie, lol. And there you have it, the gooseberry pie I promised that's been a long time coming! Have a great afternoon!


VegInDenver said...

Looks awesome. I can't wait to use this recipe! :)

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

I hope you like it!

VeganLinda said...

My step-grandmother's favorite pie was goose berry, I will have to try to make this soon!

Audrey said...

Gooseberries are wonderful. Do you ever cook them down with sugar into a jam and eat them on toast? That's my favorite! Your pie crust looks so pretty, too.

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

Thanks! :) And I've never tried making a jam out of them. That sounds great! I'll have to try that the next time gooseberry season rolls around.