Sunday, June 22, 2008

A Superb Combination

I always think that gooseberries and elderflowers make a great team; at this time of year they are readily available from gardens and hedgerows. The gooseberries are the first few from our bushes and I've noticed that we don't have as many as last year. The elderflowers were picked from several bushes along the towpath on the Cauldon canal in Hanley Park.

Here is a great recipe for gooseberry and elderflower fool.

1lb gooseberries
4 tbsp water
10 heads elderflower
4 tbsp granulated sugar
½ pint crème fraîche
sprigs of lemon balm, mint or elderflower to decorate

Top and tail the gooseberries and place in a large pan with the water and heat gently, add the sugar and simmer gently until the gooseberries begin to soften and release their juices.
Wrap the elderflower heads in some muslin, tie and put in with the gooseberries. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
Remove the elderflower infusion from the gooseberries and squeeze all the juices back into the fruit then discard the muslin bag.
Mash the gooseberry mixture with a fork, tip into a bowl and leave to cool.
Spoon a quarter of the gooseberry pureé into a small bowl and leave to one side.
Add the crème fraîche to the remaining gooseberry pureé and gently fold it in.
Spoon the reserved gooseberry pureé between the serving glasses. Layer the fool mixture on top of it and place the glasses in the fridge to chill until they are needed.

I actually made half the recipe just for the two of us and decorated the fools with sprigs of spearmint from the herb garden and added Paul's homemade biscuits. This one is a Grantham Gingerbread Biscuit (recipe from the trusty Be-Ro book.)

I have tried a little spoonful of the puree and it is very tasty so I'm looking forward to our evening meal now. I was just thinking that this kind of pudding would be lovely on a warm summer's afternoon or evening and that perhaps I should have made something more warming as it is blowing a gale outside, the trees are bending in true autumn fashion and we have just had to rescue all the plants that are in pots and put them in the greenhouse and collect the garden chairs from various corners of the garden - who said it was midsummer?


  1. I love gooseberries, one of my favorite childhood memories...picking gooseberries in my grandmothers garden.

  2. What delicious looking recipe and photos. I have never heard of making a "fool" but I am learning so much from reading blogs. I'll have to find some gooseberries (I think they grow nearby) and try this. Hope the gale blows blows away soon!

  3. The wind was fierce wasn't it? It blew over my clematis in a very large pot.I love the photo of the elderflower and gooseberry, so pretty. There is a village in Cheshire called Holmes Chapel that has a Gooseberry festival.

  4. dutchess - I think gooseberries are my favourite fruit, I remember picking them as a child, too:)

    mibsy - the gale has now gone, let me know if you try the recipe:)

    Acornmoon - I knew of Holmes Chapel because of Jodrell Bank but didn't realise they had a gooseberry festival. Hope the clematis wasn't damaged.

  5. Gooseberries and elderflowers are wonderful together aren't they? I used to make gooseberry and elderflower jam every summer when the children were young - have both in my garden so didn't have far to go to pick them:) THe wind and rain has been awful, my garden is a real mess especially my old roses, they've been torn to bits.

  6. How lovely to have both gooseberries and elderflower in your garden - the jam sounds lovely.