Gooseberry and elderflower crumble tart.

My boyfriend has a bit of a thing for lychee and gooseberries, and although I can bring myself to eat a lychee without cooking it or “dooing” anything with it. Gooseberries on the other hand, they freak me out. Not gonna lie. My BF brought a punnet and left it with me just saying I had to try them. I couldn’t bring myself to bite into one of them so I did what any sane person would do, I put them in a pie. I infused the filling with elderflower blossom to make it a little less full on with the gooseberry flavour, this really is a proper kind of English hedgerow dessert, and despite my gooseberry aversion I was rather chuffed with this! 

For the crust:
1 1/4 cup plain white flour
1/2 diced cold vegetable shortening
4 tbsp golden unrefined caster sugar
ice cold water, as needed

For the gooseberry filling:
2 1/2 cups gooseberries, trimmed
3/4 cup unrefined golden caster sugar, or more
a splash of water (or elderflower cordial if you can not find fresh elderflowers)
1 large head of elderflower blossoms, the more pollen the better

3 tbsp of cold water mixed with 3 tbsp arrowroot powder

The crumble topping:
2/3 cup plain flour
scant 1/3 cup diced vegetable shortening
1/4 cup golden unrefined caster sugar
demera sugar for sprinkling


For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 190c/370f and grease a 8″ pie dish. Add the flour and sugar to a food processor along with the cubed shortening and pulse until crumbly. Turn into a bowl and slowly add the ice water a tbsp at a time and mix together until you get a nice dough. Wrap in clingfilm and let rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Take out of the fridge roll out until you get a circle about 9 1/2″- 10 inches approx and line your pie dish, pop back into the fridge and leave to sit for about another 15 minutes this helps ensure the pastry doesn’t shrink during baking. Blind bake the crust for 10 minutes and bake exposed for another 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the gooseberry and elderflower filling:
Place the gooseberries and sugar in a pan and bring up 2 a medium heat, allow the sugar to melt and the berries to release some of their natural moisture. This will take a couple of minutes, place the bunches of elderflowers face down into the liquid and poke them in so they are fully submerged and only the stalks poke out (this makes it easier to remove the elderflower when you need to) and continue to cook the berry/sugar mix for about five minutes until the berries are tender. Remove the elderflower and bring to a bubble before adding the arrowroot mixture and whisking for about 30 seconds before removing from the heat and transferring to a bowl to cool.

Assembly and topping:
Whilst the pie filling and crust and cooling, make the crumble topping by rubbing the fat into the flour and sugar until it resembles a nice chunky crumble topping. Once everything is nice  and cool, spoon the filling into the pie crust and sprinkle on the crumble topping and the demerea sugar and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the crumble topping is golden. Allow to cool once again before serving.

5 thoughts on “Gooseberry and elderflower crumble tart.

  1. As much as I love the look of this tart I won’t be making it for Steve any day soon. His comment when queried about gooseberries was “Hairy little buggers”. He has only got disdain for them and if you paired them with rhubarb you would have his dessert from hell. Something to remember for the dessert choice the day after he forgot our anniversary 😉 I might adapt this to use some other fruit. We have trouble getting gooseberries here. I grew some josterberries a few years ago thinking that they would be a good sub but the resulting fruit had the strangest flavour! Supposedly a cross between blueberries and gooseberries you would think that they couldn’t lose but the consensus was that they tasted like raw meat (not that any of us have eaten raw meat mind you, just a sort of bloody taste…YUK!) so “meat berries” they are but after trying to cut down and remove the shrubs they keep coming back. Anyone out there want that peculiar taste and a perennial that will keep on keeping on (no matter how hard you try to kill it) grow meat berries! 😉

  2. I am a big fan of gooseberries but I know that a whole lot of people are not! This tart all home-made looks quite fabulous, Alexander! Lucky boyfriend! X Another must make! 😀

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