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Robin Hood – Little John Stew, Blackberry Pie, Currant Pie, Gruel

Quick links: Little John Beef Stew | Blackberry Pie | Currant Pie | Prison Gruel | Verdict

Robin Hood and Little John chilling in the kitchen, breakin’ eggs, stewin’ beef and eatin’ the day away. This is one of my wife’s favorite Disney movies. Mostly because she thinks Robin is a “fox”.
It is a really good, classic Disney movie with some good food to boot!

Little John Burnt Beef Stew

When Robin and Little John are chilling in the forest, they have a giant cauldron over a fire. It starts burning and bubbling over.

(Credit: Disney)

(Credit: Disney)

Incidentally, when I was making the stew, I forgot to turn down the heat and my stew started to burn. So I guess it’s super authentic to the movie.

Friar Tuck then makes an appearance and tastes it.

(Credit: Disney)

(Credit: Disney)

He finds it to be fairly spicy. So I searched for a suitable medieval stew I could make. I think I found one that’d be pretty close to what Robin and John were making

Little John Burnt Beef Stew

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 2 hr 30 min
  • Difficulty: Easy-Medium
  • Print

Ingredients:
3 lbs Stewing Steak
3 tbs flour
oil for frying
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground mace (or chili powder)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
4 black peppercorns (crushed)
1 large onion (finely chopped)
6 large sprigs of parsley (finely chopped)
4 cups beef stock
2-3 pieces stale whole wheat bread
3 tbs cider vinegar
1 pinch saffron (or 1/4 tsp turmeric as a sub.)
  1. Toss the beef with the flour to coat.
  2. Cover the base of a large frying pan with a thin layer of oil and place over a medium high heat.
  3. Add the beef and fry, stirring occasionally, until browned.
  4. Add the spices, onion and parsley with a splash of the stock and fry, stirring frequently and scrapping up the crusty layer from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes until the onions have started to soften.
  5. Dump contents into large pot with its juices.
  6. Add the rest of the stock with a pinch of salt and bring to a gentle boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1hr 40 mins, until the beef is tender.
  7. Meanwhile, soak the bread in the vinegar with the saffron .
  8. After the beef is tender, stir into the stew and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes until the bread has broken down and the stew is thick.
  9. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  10. Serve with buscuits

source: http://ginandcrumpets.com/medieval-spiced-beef-stew/

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Trigger’s Blackberry Pie

After the archery tournament, Robin gets chased around by Prince John’s guard. Trigger, the vulture takes cover in a pie stand selling blackberry pies.

(Credit: Disney)

(Credit: Disney)

Trigger's Blackberry Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 1 hr
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Ingredients:
3/4 cups cream
1/4 cup red wine
5 egg yolks
1 whole egg
2 cups blackberries
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup honey
1/4 tsp ginger
1 pinch saffron (or leave out if not available) 
1/8 tsp ground mace (or chili pepper)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2 pre-baked pie shells
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream, wine, saffron and other spices, and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. In a separate container, beat egg yolks and honey together.
  4. While beating, add a bit of the hot milk mixture. Pour this back into the pot with the hot liquid while whisking furiously.
  5. Place the cut blackberries and dates in baked pie shells and spoon the cream mixture over fruit and into the shells.
  6. Bake at 375° F for 45 minutes, or until the filling has set.

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Source: http://www.innatthecrossroads.com/2011/06/17/medieval-fruit-tarts-blueberry-strawberry-apricot-cherry/

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Maid Marian’s Currant Pie

In the same scene, Maid Marian starts throwing pies to help Robin escape.

(Credit: Disney)

(Credit: Disney)

We wanted to find real currants, for the pie, but we couldn’t. However, Google told me that Blueberries are a close second. So we made a blueberry pie.

Maid Marian's Currant Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 45 min
  • Difficulty: Easy-medium
  • Print

Ingredients:
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
2 1/4 cups red currants (blueberries)
1 ready to bake pie crust
1 pie crust mix
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 egg yolk
  1. Prepare the pie crust mix as directed, but add 1 egg yolk and the lemon zest
  2. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites until stiff.
  3. Gradually stir in sugar and cornstarch; beat for 5 minutes.
  4. Fold currants (blueberries) into mixture and pour into pie crust.
  5. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes, or until top is lightly browned.

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Source: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/red-currant-pie/

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Not-in-Nottingham Prison Gruel

Toward the end, the rooster narrator is in jail with the rest of the town. He sings Not In Nottingham. We then see the mama rabbit feeding her baby rabbits something from a bowl.

(Credit: Disney)

(Credit: Disney)

In general, gruel is a common food for prisons. I’ve always wanted to taste it. So I made it. It tastes like watery oatmeal.

They also showed biscuits. We cheated and made some from a Pillsbury roll. They were great with the stew.

Not-in-Nottingham Prison Gruel

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Time: 12 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
3 tbs oatmeal
2 cups water
salt to taste
  1. Mix the oatmeal with a little cold water to make a paste
  2. Put the rest of the water in a pan
  3. Add the mixture and boil for 10 minutes
  4. Add the salt

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Will it Steal from the Rich and Give to the Poor?

Aside from the gruel, not a bad run. The blackberry pie was super sweet. The beef stew was good, and I think if it weren’t burnt, it would have been even better. And the currant (blueberry) pie was delicious

Verdict:

Stew – 7/10

Blackberry pie – 7.5/10

Currant (blueberry) pie – 9/10

Gruel – 4/10

3

Pinocchio – Lemon Roasted Fish, Yellow Cake, Roasted Chicken, Homemade Bread, and Strawberry Pie

Quick links: Figaro’s Fish | Princess Cleo’s Cake | Geppetto’s Chicken | Stromboli’s French Bread | Pleasure Island PieVerdict

One of the saddest parts of Pinocchio is that Geppetto made a huge mouthwatering feast that no one got to eat!

The Fish Figaro Failed to Eat

So as it goes, Pinocchio gets turned into a living puppet that’s a little less creepy than RL Stine’s Night of the Living Dummy. Geppetto is ecstatic to have a son, so he takes it slow and kinda gets him familiar with the world around him, right? Wrong. The next day, he gives him a juicy apple and sends him off to school, just in time to be picked up by a sly fox and his cat sidekick.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

Luckily, Jiminy shows up in time to tell Pinocchio that he should not be an actor and should go to school (sounds exactly like a conversation I had with my parents in high school). However, right after Jiminy tells Pinocchio not to go with the fox and cat, he turns face and goes with them. Talk about a block head. Fun fact—the cat (Gideon) that was with the fox was originally to be voiced by the famous voice-actor Mel Blanc, who also did Bugs Bunny and almost all the other Looney Toons. But all of his lines were cut, except for a couple hiccups.

Anyway, Geppetto is home cooking a fantastic feast to present to Pinocchio after his first day of school. I wonder how a puppet’s digestive system even works.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

We got some chicken, some fruit, a yellow cake with chocolate frosting and a fish all cooked up for Figaro the cat. Figaro is about to go all in and rip apart that delicious fish, but Geppetto tells Figaro to wait until he finds Pinocchio.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

And since Pinocchio was chilling with Stromboli the Gypsy at this time, there’s no telling if Figaro ever got to eat the yummy fish. But lucky for us, we got to taste it.

Bass is a common fish in Italy, so I got that kinda fish.  We can see in the movie that there is lemon on the fish, some butter and some olives.

If Geppetto is half as good of cook as I am, Figaro really missed out, because the fish is delicious. It was a fun experience. I had never cooked a full fish before, let alone gutted one. So if anyone is like me and needs to know how to gut a fish, this link is really helpful.


Figaro's Fish

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Time: >1 hr
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 whole Sea bass or White bass
Kosher salt to taste
Olive oil
1 Lemon sliced
2 teaspoons Bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Basil
1/2 teaspoon Parsley
Lemon pepper seasoning to taste
1 teaspoon Fennel
4 cloves Garlic
10 Cherry tomatoes
10 Stuffed olives green
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil.
  3. Gut the fish.
  4. Oil and salt fish inside and out.
  5. Stuff the fish with 3-4 lemon slices, 2 whole cloves garlic, some cherry tomatoes, and some olives.
  6. Add all herbs, inside and out.
  7. Add the rest of cherry tomatoes, olives, and lemon slices on top of or around the fish.
  8. Fold foil up to create a bowl around the fish.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the fish flakes.IMG_20150124_194147

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A Cake Worth its Weight in Gold-fish

Man, how spoiled is Cleo. I guess you can’t blame Geppetto, she is a darling fish. I wonder how she felt as Figaro was about to devour her steaming uncle.  Cleo the goldfish was given a beautiful yellow cake with a ribbon around it. Talk about presentation.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

I think she would be about 3x her size if she ate that whole piece. If I were her, that’s a risk I would take.

We kinda cheated on this recipe due to time and budget restrictions. Although, just because we used a box cake mix, doesn’t mean that my wife can’t enhance it and make it absolutely savory.


Princess Cleo's Yellow Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 35 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 box butter yellow cake mix
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon or more vanilla extract
1 1/2 carton chocolate frosting
  1. Make cake mix according to package directions with added milk and vanilla extract.
  2. Bake in 2 round cake pans according to cake package directions.
  3. Check with toothpick.
  4. Let cakes cool completely, then dump out onto plate or serving ware.
  5. Frost one cake top completely with a half carton frosting.
  6. Put the other cake on top, frost top and sides completely with 1 carton of frosting.
  7. Most importantly, enjoy!


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Jiminy Chicken!

The last thing that Geppetto made for his feast was a succulent chicken. I kinda took some liberty in making this because I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for chicken cooked in milk for a while. So I didn’t do my research and cook the chicken exactly like they would in Italy at that time. But who’s to say that Geppetto didn’t cook his chicken in milk.  Cooking in milk makes the chicken really tender and moist.

Geppetto's Milk Chicken

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 2 hr
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 whole Chicken
Sea salt
Black pepper ground
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1/2 stick Cinnamon
1 handful Fresh sage
1 handful Fresh fennel
1 teaspoon Rosemary
1 teaspoon Basil
1/2 teaspoon Bay leaf
Lemon zest 2 lemons worth
10 cloves Garlic
2 1/2 cups Milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
  2. Find a snug-fitting pot for the chicken.
  3. Season it generously all over
  4. Fry it in a little olive oil, turning the chicken to get an even colour all over, until golden.
  5. Remove from the heat, put the chicken on a plate, and throw away the oil left in the pot. This will leave you with tasty sticky goodness at the bottom of the pan which will give you a lovely caramel flavour later on.
  6. Put your chicken back in the pot with the rest of the ingredients.
  7. Cook in the preheated oven for 1½ hours, covered.
  8. Baste with the cooking juice when you remember.
  9. The lemon zest will sort of split the milk, making a sauce which is absolutely fantastic.
  10. To serve, pull the meat off the bones and divide it onto your plates.
  11. Spoon over plenty of juice and the little curds. Serve with wilted spinach or greens and some mashed potato.
  12. Read more at www.jamieoliver.com


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Stromboli’s French Bread

So the next meal we get to see is when Stromboli is thinking about how rich he’ll be with Pinocchio in his show. He has a platter of veggies, some spread, some sausage, cheese and some french bread. Why does he have French bread in Italy? Well he is a gypsy. Maybe he just came from France.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

Anyway, during this time, he takes a bite out of an onion as if it were an apple.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

I wouldn’t advise to do that, but if you so desire, chomp into an onion and eat this bread. You can find some sausage and cheese to go with it as well. This is a pretty simple bread recipe, perfect for a gypsy on the move.

Stromboli's French Bread

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 1 hr 10 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups Warm water
2 tablespoons Yeast (dry-active)
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
3 tablespoons Vegetable oil
5 1/2 – 6 cups Flour all-purpose
  1. Add yeast to the water in a medium to large bowl, then sprinkle the sugar over top of it.
  2. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast mixture looks frothy on top.
  3. Stir in salt, oil, and flour. Before continuing, put a bowl of water in the microwave and set it for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Return to bread and knead the dough until it’s smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl easily.
  5. Continue to add flour if it’s sticky.
  6. Return to microwave and remove the bowl of water, discard (be careful, it’s hot).
  7. Put the dough in the microwave with the door closed for 15-30 minutes, until the dough is almost doubled in size.
  8. Next, remove the dough and divide into two equal balls. Roll out into rectangles, and then shape them into a bread shape.
  9. Place both loaves next to each other on lightly greased cookie sheet.
  10. With a sharp knife, make 3-4 diagonal slits in each loaf, cutting about halfway down.
  11. Cover and let rise while the oven heats to 375.
  12. Bake both loaves for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.

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Pleasure Island Pie

One of the last foods shown is in the infamous Pleasure Island. A quintessential fun-land for boys in the 40’s. If Pinocchio were remade for a modern day audience, it would be a bunch of Xboxes, Nintendos and Playstations running on giant screens and…maybe a bouncy castle, because what kid doesn’t like a bouncy castle. Even though the modern Pleasure Island would be different than the 40’s Pleasure Island, the food would be the same. We see Pinocchio walking around with a full pie and ice cream, and his friend Lampwick (what a funny name. Good ol’ Lampy. Always brings such light in our lives) with a full roasted chicken.

(credit: Disney)

(credit: Disney)

Since we already made chicken as part of Geppetto’s feast, we focused on the pie. It isn’t explicitly shown what kind of pie Pinocchio has, other than it has red filling. So after some research into common Italian berries, we went with the tried and true strawberry (which isn’t actually a true berry, but whatever). They also drink beer and smoke cigars later. But since I’m not in the business of letting little boys smoke and drink beer, I’m gonna skip those recipes.

Pleasure Island Pie

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 40 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 Frozen pie crust
1/2 box Betty Crocker pie mix
2 tablespoons & 2 teaspoons Water
8 Fresh strawberries
1-2 tablespoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Water
1 can Strawberry pie filling
  1. Pull out frozen pie crust, let thaw while working with other food.
  2. Mix the 1/2 box pie crust mix with 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons water.
  3. Roll out on floured surface to 1/2-1/4 inch thickness, to cover a 9 inch round pie pan.
  4. Slice fresh strawberries and mix with sugar and 1 teaspoon water. P
  5. our pie filling into thawed pie crust, place fresh strawberry mixture on top.
  6. Cover with rolled out pie crust, mesh sides together all the way around the pie.
  7. Cut vents into top crust. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until crust is golden-brown.
  8. Serve with pink ice cream and go break something.

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Will this Food Make Your Tongue into a Pleasure Island?

I loved Geppetto’s feast. Pinocchio was crazy to have missed it. The fish was tender and had a great flavor. The cake was moist chocolatey and yup, I loved it. The only thing that was somewhat lacking was the chicken. I was saddened by that because I was so excited to try out that recipe. It definitely was tender, but I don’t think it was flavorful enough. So maybe when you cook it, you can add some more seasonings. Let me know if you improve the recipe.

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Stromboli’s snack was good. I didn’t particularly enjoy eating an onion whole, maybe it’s an acquired taste. But the bread was fluffy and delicious.

Eat the onion whole while eating the bread

I would go to Pleasure Island for the pie. It was scrumptious. I didn’t have any pink ice cream, just vanilla, so I added some of the pie filling to it. It turned out great and pink. Just be careful not to turn into a donkey.

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Verdict:

Figaro’s Fish – 9/10

Cleo’s Cake – 10/10

Geppetto’s Chicken – 7/10 

Stromboli’s French Bread – 7/10

Pleasure Island Pie – 8/10

4

Snow White – Fish Stew and Gooseberry Pie

Quick links: Fish Stew Recipe | Gooseberry Pie Recipe | Verdict

There is a full recipe given in this movie, but since I’m not in the market for eating a poisoned apple, I decided to opt for the other foods featured in the movie.

MMM….SOUP!

The first food shown in the movie was right after the dwarves discovered the not-so-monsterous Snow White hogging up three of the dwarves’ beds. She goes down the stairs and checks the giant cauldron.

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-23h08m28s210(credit: Disney)

The dwarves rush to the edge of the steps and say in unison “MMM…SOUP!” Then rush down and start fighting over hard-rolls.

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-23h09m01s38(credit: Disney)

Now, there aren’t many hints to what kind of soup this is. We do know that the dwarves have potatoes in their house that we see when Grumpy hides in the sack.

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-23h17m44s157(credit: Disney)

But that is the only real visual hint. However, after the meal and festivities of the night, the dwarves retire to bed and grumpy is sent to sleep in the cauldron. He pulls a ladle from behind his back and says “A fine kettle of fish this is.”  Now, the saying, “a fine kettle of fish” is used to express an awkward situation, but we took this to be a double entendre.  That it was an awkward situation, and the soup they had was indeed fish soup.  That would make sense given the rivers nearby. Also, I have a hard time imagining sweet little Snow butchering one of her cute animal friends and boiling them in the soup.

I did some research into the story of Snow White and found that it took place in Germany. I also found that perch is a common fish in Germany, and my local grocery store had perch, so I went with that fish. I couldn’t find a recipe that I liked, so I kinda shot from the hip when making this. It was a little harder than I expected, but you can learn from my mistakes.


Snow White Fish Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 1hr 45mins
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Ingredients:
1 pound Perch (or about 5 filets)
3 tablespoons Lemon juice divided
3 tablespoons Butter divided
2 tablespoons Flour
1 Chopped onion yellow
1/4 to 1/3 Chopped fennel bulb
8 ounces German-brewed beer
2 teaspoons Salt
1 1/2 cup Seafood stock
1 1/2 cup Vegetable stock
1/2 cup Heavy cream
2 Chopped carrots
2 Chopped celery stalks
1 bunch Chopped green onions
3 Small to medium russet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon Bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon Fennel
1/4 teaspoon Dill weed
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
2 cloves Garlic
1 teaspoon Honey
6 slices Bacon cooked
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Start by scoring perch and soaking in 2 Tbsp lemon juice, set aside for later.
  2. In a large soup pot melt 2 Tbsp butter on med-hi heat and mix in 2 Tbsp flour, creating roux.
  3. Add 1 Tbsp butter with onions and fennel bulb. Sautee until onions are clear.
  4. Add beer, reduce heat to medium and let simmer (about 10 mins).
  5. Next add salt, seafood stock, vegetable stock, and heavy cream. Stir well,
  6. Add carrots, potatoes, and green onions. Turn heat to high.
  7. Add spices: bay leaves, fennel, dill weed, paprika, and garlic, with the honey and 1 Tbsp lemon juice.Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Leave soup on high heat until boiling, mixing well. Once at a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Crumble cooked bacon into soup, chop perch into cubes and add to pot.
  10. Cook 30 more minutes (partly uncovered) or until fish becomes flakey.

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Grumpy Gooseberry Pie

Right before the evil queen, finds Snow in the woods, we see Snow lovingly baking a pie for the down-in-the-dumps Grumpy. She even has a little bird write his name on it.

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-23h15m36s199(credit: Disney)

She had mentioned making a gooseberry pie earlier in the film, and we can assume that the pie she is making in this seen is indeed a gooseberry pie, judging by the green berries shown inside the pie.

vlcsnap-2015-02-01-23h15m12s147(credit: Disney)

I had never seen a gooseberry in my life. I didn’t have a clue where to buy them. They aren’t a common berry you see at the market. I looked online and saw that a company called Oregon Fruit sells canned gooseberries. You can buy them on amazon, but I didn’t want to pay over $30 for a pack of 8 cans. I looked at my local grocery store, but they didn’t carry them. Luckily, on their site, they have a little map icon that allows you to see what local store sell them. I was lucky enough to have a Whole Foods nearby that carried them, so I went and bought a couple cans at around $5/can. Expensive.

My wife is the baking master in our relationship so I let her handle the gooseberry pie. We kinda skimped on making the pie from scratch though. We bought a premade chilled pie crust and some pie dough mix for the top. But if you desire to make your own pie dough, you can follow the dough recipe below.

Grumpy's Gooseberry Pie

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 1hr 15mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Crust

2 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Butter chilled and diced
1/2 cup Ice water

Filling

2 cans gooseberries
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Glaze

1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 large egg yolk

Crust

  1. Combine flour, 1/2 tsp salt, and butter.
  2. Mix ingredients with pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Slowly add water and mix until mixture forms a ball. You might not need the whole 1/2 cup. Split into two balls.
  4. Optional: refrigerate balls wrapped in plastic overnight.
  5. On floured surface roll out each ball to fit 9 inch pie plate.
  6. Press one crust into pie plate evenly, reserve the other for pie top.

Filling

  1. In saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  2. Strain gooseberries and pour syrup into saucepan.
  3. Turn on medium heat and stir for 5-6 minutes, until mixture starts to thicken.
  4. Turn off heat and add gooseberries, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  5. Gently mix together then pour into pie plate.

Final steps and Glaze

  1. Top with second crust and press top and bottom crusts together.
  2. Poke holes to vent top crust.
  3. Optional: Use overlaying crust from the topper to spell “Grumpy” like in Snow White.
  4. For a nice pie coating, beat heavy cream and egg yolk together then brush onto pie top.
  5. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then at 375 for another 20-30 minutes, until pie crust is golden brown.
  6. Let cool before serving.

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Good enough to wake a sleeping princess?

It was definitely a nice meal. The fish stew was yummy and filling, but it wasn’t amazing. The gooseberry pie on the other hand, WOW. I now know why the dwarves were so excited. That stuff was DELICIOUS. It was sweet, yet tart. I hadn’t had a pie quite like it. It went well with a little bit of ice cream too.

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Verdict:

Fish Stew – 6/10

Gooseberry Pie – 10/10

Poison Apple – 0/10*  

* May cause eternal sleeping