Oldbury Gooseberry Pies

Gooseberries make one of the best summer pies, with plenty of sharp-sweet juices to soften and enrich the crust. These pies from Oldbury in Gloucestershire are made with hot-water pastry. It's a sturdy pastry and the lard content helps create a barrier that seals the juices in.

Be sure to use the pastry straight away, if you leave it to cool completely, it will start to set and become crumbly.

The recipe is taken from Paul Hollywood's British Baking.



360 g plain flour
80 g strong white bread flour
1/2 tsp icing sugar
50 g unsalted butter, diced
160 ml water
80 g lard
1 egg (beaten) to glaze


6 tsp semolina
450 g gooseberries (topped and tailed)
85 g caster sugar (golden is perfect)
85 g light soft brown sugar


To make the pastry, mix the flours and icing sugar in a large bowl, add the butter and rub it in lightly with your fingertips.

Heat the water and lard in a small pan until the lard has melted and the water just come to the boil.

Pour the mixture onto the flour.

Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead briefly until smooth.

Set aside the quarter of the pastry, wrapped in clingfilm.

Divide the rest into 6 parts, roll them into the balls.

Roll each one thinly on a lightly floured surface into an 18 cm circle. Keep the other balls covered with clingfilm as you work.

Once you have six 18 cm circles, gather up the edges of each one to create the walls of the pie, pinching little pleats around the edge, they should be 2-3 cm high.

Sprinkle 1 tsp semolina over the base of each pastry case, then add the gooseberries. Mix the caster and brown sugars together and scatter over the fruit.

Divide the reserved pastry into 6 pieces and roll each one to make a lid. Trim to fit the pies, then position over the filling and inside the pastry walls.

Pinch the edges together to seal.

Put the pies on a baking tray and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to firm up, so they hold will their shape on baking. (my fridge is not big enough to fit the baking tray, so I place the pies onto a big plate, and put them on the baking parchment circles in advance).

Heat the oven to 200 C (180 C fan). Make a slit on the top of each pie (or just prick with a toothpick) to let the steam out. Brush the pies with a beaten egg.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden brown.

Serve hot or cold, with lashings of thick cream.

Bon Appetit!
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