Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the country with my grandmother and my tante Fleurette. Family, good food and fields to play in. One thing I enjoyed about staying with grand-maman were her gooseberry and red currant bushes. The red currants were pretty and tart and the gooseberries were sweeter the darker they got. The gooseberries were my favorite eventhough they were tricky to pick; those thorns were just wicked sharp but the reward was heavenly.
Several years ago I found both bushes at a local nursery and I planted them in the backyard of my new home. We enjoyed the berries for a few years and then Olivia came along. I was afraid she would get hurt roaming around in the backyard so we tore them out. Last week I saw them on Lufa Farm's Marketplace and immediately added one pint of each to my basket.
I love eating them unembellished and in all their tartness but I wanted to showcase them. I looked up recipes for both berries and found dozens of recipes for jams or jellies...not good enough. I recently bought mini tart molds and thought the berries would be wonderful in a tartelette. I looked up tartelette recipes and I stumbled upon the following recipe: Tartelettes aux fruits et à l'érable. It involves blueberries, raspberries and strawberries and I thought it could work just as well for my gooseberries and red currants...I was right.
I happened to have a box of 12 Tenderflake tart shells which I decided to use instead of making the pie crusts from scratch; I would do it again and again. The recipe was easy and fast to make. The only thing I would do differently is either halve the recipe or buy 2 boxes of tart shells. If you can't find gooseberries or red currants any small berries will do.
- 24 Tenderflake tart shells
- 1 cup of 35% cooking cream
- 1 cup of maple syrup
- 3 tbsps. of flour
- 3 tbsps. of butter
- 1 to 2 cup of small berries
In a small pot heat both butter and flour stirring vigorously until you get a thick uniform paste then set aside. In another pot, bring the cream and maple syrup to a boil. Once it starts boiling, add the butter/flour mixture until well combined and thickened. Remove from heat and prepare the tart shells. Bake the tart shells according to the instructions on the box. Fill the bottom of each baked tart shell with berries and cover with the custard. Decorate the top of each filled tart shell with more berries. Refrigerate to set; approximately half an hour and enjoy!