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Be inspired every day with Living North
Gooseberry & Elderflower  Spelt Tart
October 2022
Reading time 2 Minutes
Gooseberry season is one of my favourites. I have many fond memories of raiding my great-grandmother’s gooseberry patch as a small child and stuffing as many of these sharp but delicious berries into my mouth as I could. This tart celebrates the grand gooseberry and marries it with a hedgerow staple, the elderflower, to create a creamy yet zingy dessert.
Preparation time
15 minutes
Cooking time
45 Minutes
Chilling time
30 minutes
  • 1 egg
  • 85ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g fresh or frozen gooseberries, topped and tailed
  • lightly whipped cream, to serve
  • For the pastry
  • 200g white spelt flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 80g cold salted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of sea salt

First, make the pastry. Put the flour, sugar and butter in a food processor and blitz on high speed until the mixture is a fine, sandy texture. Add the egg and salt and pulse until the pastry just starts to come together. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together into a soft, pliable dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Once chilled, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a circle about 25 cm in diameter. Carefully transfer the pastry to a 20 cm tart tin and press it in, then cut away most of the excess pastry, leaving a little overhang.

Prick the base of the pastry case using a fork and return to the refrigerator for a further 10 minutes. Preheat the fan oven to 180C/400F/gas 6.

Line the pastry case with baking parchment and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes before carefully removing the baking beans and baking for a further four minutes until just cooked, but still very light in colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then trim any excess pastry.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large jug (pitcher), lightly whisk together the egg, cream and elderflower cordial. Sprinkle in the sugar and vanilla extract and whisk once more to combine. Gently mix through the gooseberries.

Pour the filling into the pastry case, then place the tart in the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 160C /350F/gas 4. Bake for 25–30 minutes until the custard has just set but still has a slight wobble.

Once baked, turn off the oven and open the oven door, but allow the tart to cool in the oven – this will help prevent cracking.

When cool, slice and serve with a generous dollop of lightly whipped cream.

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