Good Food Blog
What to do with gooseberriesPosted at 12:02PM, 12 July 2011 by Hannah Williams - Editor, bbcgoodfood.com
The gooseberry is a funny thing. Often hairy and a little tart, it has fallen out of favour in recent years, as homely cooks favour brighter crumble contenders, such as raspberries and blackcurrants. This is a shame. With a little love and imagination gooseberries can make delicious additions to both sweet and savoury dishes.
Getting preppedMost gooseberries will come with husks, which you'll need to remove. Then rinse thoroughly in cold water before top and tailing the ends with scissors. Most recipe ideas use gooseberry compote, a mixture of gooseberries and sugar reduced down with a splash of water till soft and pulpy. Gooseberries vary wildly in sweetness so the ratio really depends on personal taste. Start with two parts gooseberry to one part sugar and adapt to suit your palate.
Once this is done you can get creative with all manner of dishes from chutneys to drinks. Here are our top 10 recipe tips...
Get creative with all manner of dishes from chutneys to drinks
CordialsGooseberries pair well with elderflower. Try adding a spoonful of the compote to elderflower cordial with a little fresh ginger for a refreshing summer drink.
CakesOnce you've created your compote try spreading a spoonful along with cream as an alternative filling to Victoria sponge, a delicious topping to party buns or the perfect accompaniment to ginger scones.
SundaesGooseberries make a great addition to summer sundaes. Try layering your compote with cream or yogurt and your favourite ice cream. Or mix with vanilla and elderflower for a show-stopping summer fool .
SorbetsCreate a lovely gooseberry sorbet by mixing gooseberry compote with water or elderflower cordial then freezing and churning or passing through an ice cream maker, like any sorbet mix.
CrumblesFancy desserts have their place but the humble crumble is hard to beat. Treat the family to a comforting gooseberry cobbler or rustle up a gooseberry tray bake, perfect with a cup of tea.
Pastries and piesGooseberry pie is an easy way to sign off Sunday lunch but try getting creative with puff pastry too. Layer up baked pastry sheets with gooseberry compote and custard for a speedy pudding that'll wow the crowds.
Savoury saucesGooseberries are not just great for dessert; they work equally well as part of a main meal too. Pair with mackerel for a Yorkshire classic, or partner with other oily fish, like salmon, alongside seasonal greens.
PavlovaGive meringues a little gooseberry sparkle with this gooseberry meringue pie recipe or makeover Pavlova by ditching the strawberries for gooseberry and elderflower cream.
CocktailsGooseberry cordial is a lovely daytime drink but give it an evening outing by switching the cordial for alcoholic fizz. Try adding the compote to Prosecco with ginger, straining then adding sugar to taste.
ChutneysFinally, add it to the cheeseboard. Gooseberry compote tastes delicious with Brie and Camembert and will give goat's cheese an even feistier kick.
These are our serving suggestions but the fun comes as you experiment and create. Let us know your top tips for cooking gooseberries and the best way to serve this under-appreciated fruit.