Until a couple weekends ago, I didn’t know that gooseberries even existed. I know, super-terrible-bad food blogger of me, but I digress. I was at my local farmer’s market when I stumbled across a booth with these round, green berries in turquoise blue containers. At first glance, they appeared to be perfectly spherical grapes or realllly tiny melons. Whatever they looked like, I was intrigued. I was curious as to what these little green gems could be used for. Asking Momma Crawford, she told of one of her aunts who used to make a gooseberry pie with mounds of sugar to help combat the tartness of the berries. A pie sounded delicious, but I knew exactly what I was going to do with these gooseberries and that was to make a crumble.
A few months ago I made a crumble recipe for Local Wolves. It was a blackberry crumble with a whole wheat topping. Taking inspiration from my previous crumble making escapades, I adapted a new recipe using gooseberries instead of blackberries. I needed something to pair with them, so I choose pears! It was a match made in heaven, or should I say a perfect pear?! I found a recipe for gooseberry crumble, so I took a chance and adapted it to my liking. I decided that brandy was a necessary addition. I love the subtle aromas of brandy and how well it bakes. I really can’t stand whiskey, but brandy has become my new liquor of choice. I used a cheap brandy because I’m super classy and on a college-budget.
The crumble came out absolutely splendid! I decided to make it a summery-autumn pie kind of dessert by adding a dash of both cinnamon and nutmeg to the filling plus just a touch of honey for sweetness. The smells that came out of my oven upon opening the door was indescribable. Think apple pie but replace apples with warm pears and sweeten gooseberries and finished off with aromatic brandy and you have got yourself a dessert worth celebrating over. I was wanting to make an ice cream recipe, but I had just recently developed an ice cream recipe and thought it would be a tad excessive. I opted for a dollop of freshly whipped cream over top of the warm bowl of crumble goodness. It’s not ice cream, but it was still delicious. The combination of hot crumble and cold cream was sweet perfection. With this crumble I am now ready for autumn baking. Bring on the pumpkin spice!
Ps. You may or may not have heard, but the 7th annual SAVEUR Magazine Blog Awards are upon us once more and open-call for nominations are now live! I would be so honored if you were to nominate ‘TermiNatetor Kitchen’ for a category (preferably Best New Voice, but do whatever your heart tells you! You’re a loss canon cop who doesn’t play by the rules.) If you like my photos, are intrigued by my recipes, or just think my butt is cute, then feel free to nominate me. I would love you forever.
Gooseberry, Pear, and Brandy Crumble
Adapted from this recipe
Adapted from this recipe
For the filling
2 cups gooseberries, topped and tailed
4 pears, cored and cubed
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons brandy
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon honey
For the crumble
1 cup flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup walnuts, chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon. Add the chilled butter and cut into the flour mixture with your hands or using a pastry cutter until the mixture begins to resemble course meal. Reserve until needed.
In a medium bowl, stir together the gooseberries, pears, sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey until well combined. Transfer mixture to a 10-inch cast iron or oven-safe skillet/pan. Evenly spread the crumble mixture over top until the berry and pear mixture is covered. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the fruit mixture is bubbling around the edges.