Gooseberries are very much underrated and underused, fantastic on their own, with cream, in desserts or savoury dishes, they should be gracing every table at summertime. I’ve always loved them, my aunt used to grow them and I loved visiting so that I could indulge. I shouldn’t have liked them that much, they can be quite sharp and sour and they’re hairy when ripe, so, how could they be attractive to a child? Especially a little girl who doesn’t much like eating anything unless it’s almost all sugar? I suspect, the fact that hardly anyone liked them was attractive (there was lots more for me) but the flavour is something that I’ve always loved, that tart burst when you bite into a gooseberry is fantastic.
When I was last home, a friend gave me a gift of some delicious elderflower cordial, so I thought it fitting to pair it with this delicious seasonal fruit and some whipped cream, to create that favourite dessert of mine – fool. I keep my fruit fools quite simple, usually a fruit compote of sorts mixed with twice the amount of whipped cream. Sometimes, when I want to feel a little better about this indulgence, I stir in some greek yoghurt, approximately half yoghurt/half cream. Were I organised, I’d have made this when the elderflowers themselves were in bloom and stewed the gooseberries with a few heads of elderflower tied in muslin. Alas, that was the month of crazy business that was June.
This recipe works well with the bright green sour gooseberries in the markets right now. It really is very simple and doesn’t require a recipe as such, I used 450g green gooseberries, 100g sugar, enough water to cover, and 2 tablespoons of elderflower cordial. Simply, boil the water with the sugar until dissolved, top and tail the gooseberries and add to this with a couple of tablespoons of elderflower cordial (adjust to taste) and stew until the fruit bursts, takes about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the amount of elderflower cordial if necessary. Stir this into your whipped cream, again to taste, I usually add it cream:fruit, 2:1.