Gooseberries again

Posted by August 8, 2011 Gooseberries No Comments

I’m obviously going through a green phase. Looking back on recent posts I can see a lot of green. Perhaps it’s a reaction to Toronto’s stifling heat and humidity? Green is such a cooling colour. This photo of my gooseberry bush is a few weeks old. I have stripped it of all its fruit because I like my gooseberries tart. If you leave the fruit on the bush it will start to turn a maroon colour and loose its acidity. Gooseberries are not a giving fruit; the thorns are large, sharp and numerous and it’s not a fruit you eat straight from the bush, their sharp edge needs to be tempered with sugar.

One of my favourite ways to eat gooseberries is in pie. but you have to top and tail the berries first, a tedious task. Use a lard pastry and if you need a recipe see here. Sometimes I make fool, cooked gooseberry purée stirred into whipped cream. That way I can skip the topping and tailing simply passing as the cooked berries through a food mill. With my harvest of berries I spent several evenings watching television, to prepare all my berries. I made a pie, and froze the rest. Gooseberries freeze very well. Then I discovered there were still some berries that I’d missed in the deeper reaches of my bush. So despite the heat, I put on a long sleeved shirt and wrestled them into my bowl. I’d had it with topping and tailing so my first thought was to turn them into ice cream. However,  it seems to be my summer of ices so I went against my natural instinct and made gooseberry ice instead.

Now if you have never cooked gooseberries, you may not know that they turn pink when they are cooked, yes even the green ones. The ice is simple – 500g of berries gently simmered with 250 ml water until very soft.  Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and stir in 100g sugar until dissolved. Chill then churn. The resulting ice is a pretty pink and divinely tart and refreshing, perfect for a hot summer’s night.