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SobaAddict70

Gooseberries

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Because I live alone, I tend not to make large-ish dishes that will take me more than a couple of days to finish off.

This includes desserts, sadly enough. Hence why most dessert recipes that appear on the blog are sized for one serving.

I bought some gooseberries at the Greenmarket yesterday, and I'm thinking of making a crumble. I want to use ramekins instead of a baking dish -- would that be ok? I figure a bain-marie is the way to go here.

Any advice?

The alternative is using them in a compote and serving that with ice cream or in an affogato. But I want to try something different for a change.

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I don't think I'd want them in a bain-marie. After all, you're trying to soften the fruit a tiny bit while you caramelize the sugar on top, right? I think that would go fine just as is in a ramekin... My opinion, anyway...

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What about a gooseberry and frangipane tart? I've always thought that almonds and gooseberries have a wonderful affinity with each other.

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Yes, can you explain why you think a bain-marie is a good idea ? I grew up in the land of crumbles and never heard of or considered such a thing.

There's always the traditional fool, i.e. cooked down and mixed with custard / whipped cream, depending how much of a change you consider that to be.

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If I'm to use ramekins, don't they have to be in a pan of some kind? Or can I just put them in the oven as is?

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I grew up picking/eating gooseberries. I haven't tasted one in years.

But, I just liked to eat them raw. I probably ate half when assigned to gooseberry picking duty!

My grandma made "stewed gooseberries"... just cooked in a pan with sugar and water and served in a little bowl with some vanilla ice cream. She did the same with rhubarb.

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If I'm to use ramekins, don't they have to be in a pan of some kind? Or can I just put them in the oven as is?

If you put the ramekins on a baking sheet, they will be easier to transport in and out of the oven. I reserve the bain-marie for delicate desserts with eggs that might curdle (e.g., pots de creme).

I've never cooked a crisp or crumble in ramekins, but there's no reason why you can't do that successfully. Are you thinking of a bain-marie to slow down the cooking action of the fruit, since it's in small baking dishes? The bain-marie might moderate the heat too much, so that the fruit is not cooked through. I suggest just putting the ramekins in the middle of the oven on a baking sheet. The baking sheet will provide extra insulation on the bottom of your ramekins, and slow down the cooking time of the fruit somewhat.

Just watch those little ramekins in the oven. If it looks like the fruit is cooking too fast in relation to the topping, move the ramekins up a rack or two closer to the top of the oven, so that the radiant heat there will zap the topping a little more and it will cook faster. Or if the topping is cooking too fast, move the ramekins down so that the radiant heat from the bottom of the oven will hasten the cooking of the fruit. Make sense? Since you're making crumble in a non-standard way, I'm afraid you'll have to wing it. When the fruit is bubbling with thickened juices, and the topping is golden and cooked through, those crumbles are done.

BTW, I'm assuming that you preheat the oven at the target temperature for 20 mins, so that those oven walls really are hot.

good luck with your baking :smile:

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If I'm to use ramekins, don't they have to be in a pan of some kind? Or can I just put them in the oven as is?

Don't need to, but they're easier to handle if they're on a cookie sheet. The ramekins will just slide and tip more easily on the wire rack in the oven than if you pop 'em on a cookie sheet. I've also done a blackberry crisp on the smoker, where the smaller spacing on the grill would be easy to place a ramekin.

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