I once ran across a small carton of gooseberries at the farmer’s market. I looked closely, realized the price tag read $6.50 (for a tiny little carton!) and exclaimed—I have TONS of those in my backyard. The gal relaxing in a folding chair behind her display mentioned picking gooseberries is a lot of work. Pshaw, that’s what I have kids for!
Last year we made gooseberry jam. This year everyone was enthusiastic about Gooseberry Pie. Gooseberry Pie—could anything sound cuter and homesteadier than I decided to make Gooseberry Pie for Memorial Day? Game ON!
So, it turns out, picking gooseberries really IS a lot of work. My normally enthusiastic eldest kept mentioning thorns. “And you know mom, there really is a lot of thorns. They hurt!” Get back to work! Pick more gooseberries.
After all the work of picking them the kids thought the work was over. Oh no, every gooseberry has to have the stem and this little brown “tail” pulled off. I started in on them but it didn’t take me very long to realize there was no way I was going to de-stem and de-tail 4 cups of gooseberries. So I instituted a forced labor assembly line and we made modestly short work of the pile.
Making the pie ended up being the easy part of this project. I did use a premade pie crust and used the recipe at Midwest Living Gooseberry Pie.
Gooseberries are super tart and this is offset with a LOT of sugar, so our pie was a double blast of sweet and tart. We all agreed that if we were at the berry store with all the different types of berries up for sale we probably wouldn’t choose gooseberries, but there is something irresistible about finding food in your backyard and turning it into a treat, so I bet next spring I will have minions ready to brave the thorns and hunt for some gooseberries again.