For the Shortcrust Pastry:
6 oz. (175 g) all-purpose flour
11/2 oz. (40 g) lard or solid shortening, at room temperature
11/2 oz. (40 g) butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 small egg yolk
2 rounded tablespoons semolina
For the Filling:
11/2 lb. (700 g) gooseberries, topped and tailed
3 oz. (75 g) caster (granulated) sugar
For the Glaze:
1 small egg white
6 sugar cubes, crushed
You will also need a baking sheet, lightly greased.
Make up the pastry by sifting the flour into a large mixing bowl, then rubbing the fats into it lightly with your fingertips, lifting everything up and letting it fall back into the bowl to give it a good airing. When the mixture reaches the crumb stage, sprinkle in enough cold water to bring it together to a smooth dough that leaves the bowl absolutely clean, with no crumbs left. Give it a little light knead to bring it fully together, then place the pastry in a polythene bag (plastic bag) in the fridge for 30 minutes.
After that, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C). Then roll the pastry out on a flat surface to a round of approximately 14 inches (35 cm) – as you roll, give it quarter turns so that it ends up as round as you can make it (don't worry, though, about ragged edges: they're fine). Now carefully roll the pastry round the rolling pin and transfer it to the center of the lightly greased baking sheet.
To prevent the pastry getting soggy from any excess juice, paint the base with egg yolk (you'll need to cover approximately a 10 inch (25.5 cm) circle in the center), then sprinkle the semolina lightly over this. The semolina is there to absorb the juices and the egg provides a waterproof coating.
Now simply pile the gooseberries in the center of the pastry, sprinkling them with sugar as you go. Then all you do is turn in the edges of the pastry: if any breaks, just patch it back on again – it's all meant to be ragged and interesting. Brush the pastry surface all round with the egg white, then crush the sugar cubes with a rolling pin and sprinkle over the pastry (the idea of using crushed cubes is to get a less uniform look than with granulated). Now place the pie on to the highest rack of the oven and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm with chilled crème fraîche or ice cream.
Makes 6 servings.
Source: Delia Smith, Cookbook Author
Date: February 27, 2003