There were lots of gooseberries at the market this morning and at $5 a small box I should have opened my own stand! Perhaps gooseberries are finally catching on here, but I am not sure. Most people, even expert foodies, don’t know what to do with them. However, one of the great things about food is that there is always something new to learn. I topped and tailed my first harvest while watching the BBC news although 30 minutes it wasn’t long enough and I found myself working right through the French news too. So be warned, it will take you a good hour to do 1 kg of gooseberries.
Gooseberries keep well in the refrigerator and also freeze well. I found some in the bottom of my freezer that I’d frozen last year, about 450 g so I put them in a frying pan added 50 g (1/4 cup) of sugar and cooked them gently and till they became very soft. Then I rubbed them through a sieve, I’d been lazy last year and frozen them straight from the bush. This yielded about 250 ml of smooth puree that I’ll turn into gooseberry fool by mixing it with about 175 ml of whipping cream, whipped. Check the tartness of your fruit, mine need a little more sweetness so I added some icing sugar, which thickened the puree too. Next on the gooseberry recipe list is ice cream.
Anton Chekhov also loved gooseberries –
“And he would dream of garden-walls, flowers, fruits, nests, carp in the pond, don’t you know, and all the rest of it. These fantasies of his used to vary according to the advertisements he found, but somehow there was always a gooseberry-bush in every one. Not a house, not a romantic spot could he imagine without its gooseberry-bush”.