Rhubarb and Gooseberry Charlotte

banner

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    6

    Hearty Clubbers

Appears in

Around the World in 80 Dishes: Classic Recipes from the World's Favourite Chefs

Around the World in 80 Dishes

By David Loftus

Published 2012

  • About

Fogg chooses to conclude his rather lavish daily breakfast with a rhubarb and gooseberry tart served with a slice of Cheddar cheese. My great chum, fine fellow and blessed cheesemaker, Simon (farmer) Jones, makes a fabulous Lincolnshire Poacher. It’s wonderfully hearty and earthy, just like its maker, who is so old fashioned and gentlemanly that he says hello to everyone he passes on a London street. This dish’s combination of sweet, zingy flavours against the nutty crumb layers — and of course the tang of the cheese — makes for an extremely satisfying dessert.

Ingredients

  • 450g/1lb mixed rhubarb, cut into chunks, and gooseberries
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 25g/1oz butter, plus extra for the dish
  • 175g/6oz fresh white breadcrumbs
  • A handful of finely crushed hazelnuts
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla pod

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Put the fruit into a large pan, add a little water and almost all the sugar, and cook gently until your fruit is soft enough to mush with a fork.

Butter a deep medium-sized pie dish (or experiment with individual portions). Scatter a layer of breadcrumbs over the base, along with a good sprinkling of crushed hazelnuts. Mix the nutmeg with the remaining breadcrumbs. Stir the lemon juice and vanilla seeds into the fruit. Fill the pie dish with alternate layers of fruit and crumbs, making sure to end with a layer of crumbs and the last of the crushed hazelnuts.

Finally, dot the top with butter and a final sprinkling of sugar, and bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden.

Serve each portion of charlotte with a slice of Lincolnshire Poacher cheese, which is widely available from delicatessens and farmers’ markets. If you can’t source the Poacher, you should go for a good, nutty, clean-tasting Cheddar.

To serve

A slice of Lincolnshire Poacher or Cheddar cheese per person