Friday, 12 July 2013

Playing Gooseberry

Usually our gooseberry bush produces about a handful of berries so when I went out to harvest this years crop I was wishing and hoping for 500g so that I could make something substantial with them. Surprisingly, I returned back to the kitchen with 1.2kg!

gooseberry harvest 2013

Our gooseberries are definitely the tart cooking kind rather than the ones you can eat straight from the bush. I wanted to do something more than just make gooseberry fool this year (wonderful as it is) and I didn't want to pair them with elderflowers as I prefer to wait for the berries than harvest the flowers - I think there's more nutritional value - as well as taste - to be had from the elderberries.

So that we could enjoy some of these lovely berries straight away while they're at their freshest, I made a coconut gooseberry clafoutis.  A new (to me) recipe that I found intriguing as I'd never made a clafoutis based on coconut milk before.  

gooseberry clafouti


The clafoutis rose three times the size in the oven and then dropped back down slightly on cooling to make a gorgeous (only slightly coconutty) stodgy custardy cake texture that was just sweet enough to be matched with the tart gooseberries.

The recipe I originally wanted to make with my harvest was a gooseberry curd. When I mentioned this intention in conversation in the weeks anticipating their ripeness it seemed to have a nostalgic quality for a lot of people - apparently it was quite a common homemade preserve in days gone by.  After I made it, I could see why it had invoked such a response. 
If you only make one fruit curd this year, give gooseberry curd a try!  I used this very detailed and well written recipe.

gooseberry curd

The rest of the gooseberries were stewed and then strained overnight before being made into a gooseberry and mint jelly this morning (the recipe is from my most used preserving book but briefly put: measure your strained liquid, add 450g sugar per pint plus the juice of a lemon and a couple of mint sprigs. Heat slowly to dissolve the sugar then bring to a rapid boil for about 20 mins or until setting point is reached).

gooseberry and mint jelly


A perfect recipe to make on a high pollen count day because the mint is so fragrant!  
My jelly went a beautiful rosy colour and will be a great accompaniment to rich foods or oily fish.

It feels so good to be preserving again and it's a good excuse not to be outdoors in the (now, too) hot weather.

What's your favourite way to eat gooseberries?

16 comments:

  1. You know, I don't believe I've ever seen a gooseberry before! They look delicious and so does the pie.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. Until I had written this post, I had no idea that you don't get gooseberries over the pond. You learn something new every day!

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  2. hello,
    your gooseberry cake looks delicious and makes me hungry!!
    the recipe for gooseberry jelly sounds wonderful.thanks for sharing!!!!
    i eat gooseberry as kompott or jelly.
    have a nice weekend,
    blessings regina

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  3. Thanks for trying out and sharing my recipe. Curd really is the best way to eat gooseberries in my humble opinion. You got a great harvest and I'm intrigued by the gooseberry clafoutis with coconut milk now!

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    1. It's a great recipe - I like that you put so much detail into it, including sterilising the jars. Very useful :o)

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  4. Only about a dozen little berries on our granddaughter's red gooseberry bush this year and even they aren't ready to eat yet!

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    1. They're so late this year, aren't they? My strawberries were ready before gooseberries this year and the gooseberries are usually the first fruit we harvest!

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  5. Ooooh, the clafoutis sounds fascinating! I'd never think of putting coconut with gooseberries.

    Gooseberry curd sounds amazing!

    Missing my gooseberry bushes for a couple of houses ago now!

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    1. This gooseberry bush travelled with us from our old allotment to the new house when we moved. I think it must have just settled in if it's produced so much.

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  6. YUM!! Gooseberry curd sounds delicious!

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  7. I usually make crumble with them but the curd sounds delicious might have to go and check how many I have on my bush!

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    1. I hope you have enough to try it out :o)

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  8. We'll be lucky for a handful or so this year but the clafoutis looks wonderful. I'd have never thought of the coconut milk for that one.

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    1. The coconut milk was quite a revelation!

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