Thursday, 13 July 2017

Gooseberry fool: a simple summer pudding

Gooseberry fool, along with Apple snow, was one of my favourite childhood puddings. I must have had a thing for purée. I was reminded of it whilst flipping through The Garden Grows Cookbook by Eva and Tony Lambert, from 1978; they describe three gooseberry recipes although none of them were exactly a fool, so I texted my mum to check how she made it.

This dessert is a simple combination of cooked, sweetened gooseberries with creamy custard - a light summer pudding that should be sharp enough to make one eye squint from the tartness. I used standard ready made custard - don't use a low fat version as you need the creaminess to counteract the sharpness of the fruit, and the posh "Madagascan vanilla" types will compete with the flavour of the gooseberries. I've included a variation for a lighter version at the end.

(Serves 4)

250g fresh gooseberries
2 tbsp sugar
150g custard


1. Top and tail the gooseberries, add to an oven dish and sprinkle with sugar and a splash of water. Bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes, until the berries are soft and about to burst.

2. Mash the berries with a fork or blitz briefly to a pulp and cool.

3. Stir in the custard and taste; add a little honey if it's too sour. 

Serve in cute little dishes with a sweet biscuit, like shortbread or amaretti, on the side. There's absolutely no need to stick it in a flower pot, I just got carried away with the garden theme...

Lighten up, you guys! For a lighter version, substitute elderflower cordial for the sugar and Greek yoghurt for the custard. 


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