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Saturday, 9 May 2009

Gooseberries

Q. What's Green and Hairy and Goes up and Down in a lift.
A. A Gooseberry stuck in an elevator!

I always keep a few gooseberries in the freezer as every now and then I make a Gooseberry Crumble or Sponge for my OH and any over their sell by date in the freezer I turn into Gooseberry Jam which is a favourite or an Elderflower and Gooseberry Jelly or a Gooseberry and Elderflower Curd or a chutney or two. To have the fruit in its raw state in the freezer is an advantage as you can use it in a variety of ways and if it is out of date you can still turn it into something practical and useful without throwing it away and wasting it. If you have several batches of various fruits mix and match those that go to together and turn into a mixed fruit jam. It all helps pad the kitchen larder out and is equally scrummy in a Victoria Sandwich with some cream, in the bottom of a pastry tart with fresh fruit on the top or on lashings of thick buttery toast. It all helps keep the wolf from the door and anything you produce yourself is worth the effort. You may only take small steps at a time but they are your steps in developing and practice makes purrfect!

Some of my earliest memories are scrumping these ripe hairy green fruit from my Nan's Gooseberry bushes. The sweeter the fruit the yellower the green of the Goosegog and some of them are even a pinky red. Its funny but as a child I always preferred the raw fruit to that of it cooked, but as an adult I now appreciate both. I like Gooseberry Wine as well, my Nan always used to make this and it always had a sparkle we used to call it poor man's champagne, but at the moment I do not have access to my own bushes. I am hoping to rectify that shortly, but if you find yourself in a similar predicament there are always Pick Your Own Farms or look out for the reduced section in your supermarket sometimes there are bargains to be had.

Gooseberry Fool

1 1/4 lb gooseberries topped and taile
4 x 15ml (4 tablespoons of Water)
50g (2 oz sugar)
300 ml (1/2 pint double cream, whipped

Put the gooseberries in a pan with the water and sugar bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes or until the gooseberries are tender.

Mash the gooseberries with a fork and allow to cool.

Fold in all but 2 x 15 ml (2 tablespoons) of the cream

Pour in the combined mixture into a large bowl or individual glasses levelling the tops pipe any extra or reserved cream in rosettes to decorate. Serve chille



























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