I saw these cape gooseberries (also known as physalis) at Whole Foods a couple of weeks ago. I’ve seen them a few times, but I have never tried them. They’re typically pretty expensive and I just never got around to trying them. I saw a recipe for a Gooseberry Custard Tart in my new Martha Stewart pie book and well, basically gave me a reason to buy a bunch of cape gooseberries.
Little did I know this variety of gooseberries came wrapped in little papers of sorts, like tomatillos. Then I discovered that’s because the tomatillo and gooseberry are relatives. Cousins or something of the sort. Anyhow, I came home and discovered that my recipe called for green gooseberries and I had purchased these perfectly colored marigold, yellowy -orange little paper wrapped orbs. And did I mention they were sticky?
Being the rogue that I am, I decided to go forward with the wrong berries. I thought we were up to the challenge and we were, oh yes we were!
I don’t really have an exact recipe for you here. I used a basic tart shell recipe, really nothing special– and while I had every intention of making a delightful vanilla custard, I ended up using Wayfare’s Vanilla Pudding flavor as the base. It’s quite sturdy in texture and makes a great base if you need something really quick. I roasted the gooseberries in sugar until they were tender and delicious. I let them cool and then spooned them atop this tart.
I have full intention of making this again with green gooseberries (if and when they should appear) and perhaps I will come back with a homemade custard recipe and a proper veganization of this interesting dessert.