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Friday, April 18, 2014

Gooseberry Skillet Cobbler


When I was a kid, dad took us camping in the Colorado Rockies every summer. While he fished for trout in the cool running stream, I explored the area. I hiked, climbed and generally ran wild until it was time to head back to camp for supper in the evening. One of my favorite things to do was to check out the gooseberry bushes. Mom was the one who fed us and I remember her telling me "If you pick enough gooseberries, I will make you a pie". 
This didn't happen often. lol  Either the bushes didn't produce enough berries or I ate too many while picking.  I LOVE gooseberry pie. It's one of my favorites and reminds me of those campouts in the Rockies.

Gooseberries are hard to find in my area, even the canned variety. I came across these in a Mexican grocery store and grabbed a few cans to take camping with me.

To make the skillet cobbler, I drain the gooseberry juice into a skillet. (used 2 cans) They are really tart so I added sugar.. about 2 cups. Enough to make the juice sweet. Also added a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon juice and some cornstarch to thicken the mixture..

I placed the skillet over hot coals and let it cook until smooth, hot and bubbly. Then added the drained gooseberries and some other berries from breakfast.
The wind was blowing pretty hard that afternoon so I used the cooker provided at the lake instead of the tractor rim.
When the pie filling was hot and bubbly I added my cobbler topping...
1 cup flour, 2 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt, 1 3/4 cups of sugar and enough milk to make a stiff dough.  Dropped by spoon on top of the hot filling..
I covered the skillet with another larger pot to give the cobbler topping room to rise. Then placed a few hot coals on and let er cook.

The cobber cooked for about 25 minutes.. I moved it to the tractor rim and let it cool a bit before diving in.
I even brought some whipped cream in a can with me for this dish. lol Ok I ate some straight out of the can too. :)

It was really tasty. Reminded me of my childhood. :)
If you've not had gooseberry pie, it tastes a bit like rhubarb pie.... kind of tart.
I'm not sure why, but I never make desserts while camping. I guess I fill up on the meal and have no room for dessert. Might have to do this one again though...


Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

Hmmm, didn't know gooseberries were good for anything but being sour. I can remember eating the odd one when I was a kid too, but then kind of forgot they were even out there. Interesting desert Jeanie. I don't think I can even remember what a gooseberry looks like or where to find them, but I'm sure they are up here some where. I'm going to have to put that on my to find list.

LindaG said...

Your pie looks excellent. Have a Blessed Easter!

cowgirl said...

lol Mark, They are kinda twangy. :) I bet you have them all over the place up there. If you make a pie, let me know!
Hope you have a great weekend Mark, thanks! :)

cowgirl said...

Thank you Linda, Hope you have a great weekend and wonderful Easter too! :)

Bushman said...

Never had Gooseberry pie but I do love Rhubarb pie. Especially with strawberries in it. Got some growing in the garden this year just so I can make a pie or two!

cowgirl said...

Shoot Bushman, you're going to have it made! I love rhubarb and strawberry pie too. Hope you post pics of them when you make em. :)
Have a great weekend!

Rolf Virbom said...

This brings back a flood of childhood memorys:
We had lots of gooseberrys in the garden, when I was a kid.
I didn´t like them, because they were soo sour.
But now, I like them in pies.

Thank you - great post

Sid said...

OMG!!! You cooked it on the Icky Thing! :):):) Never heard of gooseberries. I'll have to see if I can find some and give this a try. My grandmother used to do rhubarb a lot. Always liked that.

cowgirl said...

Rolf that's great! Glad to hear you are a fan of gooseberry pie too. :) Hope all is well at the Outlaw Camp. Miss visiting with you!
Thanks for stopping by. :)

cowgirl said...

lol Chris...thanks for the laugh! Yes I did use the "icky" thing and I probably made it "ickier". :)
The gooseberry juice bubbled all over the place. :D
If you like rhubarb pie you might like this. Adding strawberries helps with the tartness.
Let me know if you try it!
Thanks for stopping by Chris, good to see ya. :)

Dick said...

Wow, that looks really good. My mother used to get gooseberries that came in from some outfit in Michigan, frozen in bulk quantities. And I loved the gooseberry pie. (I don't know the details on the gooseberries, but I've got an old can from that era that had 30 pounds of pie cherries in a 5 part fruit to one part sugar mixture; I suspect the gooseberries were handled similarly. Someone in the community would order this stuff-- probably through the local locker plant-- and then divide it up among several neighbors.)

More recently I've found some various kinds of fruit, frozen in 2.5 pound bags, at a local supermarket. They're from a company called Coloma Frozen Foods, and are marketed under the "Nature Blessed" brand name. I checked their web site and they do sell gooseberries, so maybe you can get a local grocer to stock them. I can't speak for their gooseberries, but their pie cherries are very good.

Back when I had a garden (in a Chicago suburb) I had some gooseberry bushes. They were a pain to pick (as you may remember), but they sure made good pie. I don't know if they'd grow down in your area or not.

I'm going to have to ask the place I got the pie cherries if they could include some gooseberries in their next order. It would sure be good to have a gooseberry pie again, and I think the frozen berries would be better than the canned.

cowgirl said...

Dick thank you SO much, I appreciate the info!
You've made me hungry for cherry pie too. :) That was a great idea for your mom to go in with friends and order large quantities.

I bet your homegrown gooseberry pies were delicious. :)

I didn't think to check the store where I found these canned gooseberries to see if they have frozen. I will look next time I go!
I would love to try frozen ones to see what difference they would make.
Thank you again Dick, I appreciate the information and appreciate you stopping by. Hope you have a nice weekend!