IN SEASON : JUNE - JULY
PARTNER WITH : ELDERFLOWER, LEMON, VANILLA, CUSTARD, CARDAMOM, WHITE CHOCOLATE, ALMONDS
I order a lot of ingredients from a company called Farm Direct who source from only UK producers and suppliers. This means availability is completely led by seasonality and right now there is a bounty of UK grown fruits and veggies to be enjoyed. Every single year they send the following message to warn about gooseberries which brings me much, much joy 😂
“Please note that gooseberries must be cooked! Still every year we get at least one email complaining that the grapes they received are too sour to eat”
They are sour but they’re still pretty tasty eaten raw, especially the Hinnomaki red ones which are not so mouth-puckering.
TRIED & TESTED
GOOSEBERRY & ELDERFLOWER PRESERVE
This is such a beautiful combination and if you get the gooseberries early in the season when they’re not too ripe, the jam turns into a lovely blush pink colour. There’s something about the colour compounds in the skin that change colour with a changing heat or acidity.
To make the jam, add 1kg gooseberries to a pan with a small amount of water and cook gently until they’re starting to soften, then add 700g granulated sugar. Wait for the sugar to dissolve and then turn the heat up to a rolling boil. Keep stirring the mixture regularly until it feels thicker - you can check the set of the jam by keeping a small plate in the fridge. Add a droplet of the mixture and return the plate to the fridge. Check after 5 minutes to see if the drop wrinkles when you push it with your finger. If it wrinkles, this means that the jam will set. Stir in 100ml of elderflower cordial and then pour it into sterilised jars and leave to cool completely.
These are currently sitting in my fridge. I haven’t tasted them yet so can’t say how they’ve gone but I’ll report back https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/how-to-cook/how-to-pickle-gooseberries
GOOSEBERRY & CUSTARD CRUMBLE CAKES
makes one 6” cake or 8 small cakes
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp vanilla extract
120g golden caster sugar
90g plain flour
40g ground almonds
150g green gooseberries, sliced
100g custard (shop-bought or make your own) or white chocolate
40g cold butter
25g demerara sugar
30g flaked almonds
Prepare your 6” cake tin with parchment paper or line a cupcake tin with paper cases. Pre-heat the oven to 170C. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add in the baking powder and vanilla and give it another mix. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time and then fold in the flour and the almonds. Layer the cake batter with the sliced gooseberries and small spoonfuls of the custard. If you are using cupcake tins, fill up to 2/3 of the paper case. To make the crumple topping, place the flour in a small bowl and rub the cold butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Once you’re at this stage, add in the oats, demerara sugar and flaked almonds and give it a good mix. Top the cake(s) with this crumble mixture and bake for around 15-20mins (cupcakes) or 20-25mins (6” cake) - to check the cakes are done, press the top of the cake lightly, it should bounce back if it’s ready. Leave to cool, serve as is or with extra custard.
* These would be equally delicious with white chocolate instead of the custard.
MORE IDEAS :
GOOSEBERRY KETCHUP https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/grilled-mackerel-pickled-gooseberry-ketchup