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Gooseberries


Miss J
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Having relentlessly slagged off Sainsburys for their nauseating "life with Jamie-Oliver" ads, I feel a bit guilty that I a) was in the Finchley Road branch last night and b) delighted to discover that they have a slew of seasonal Kentish gooseberries just begging to be snapped up.

So I'm now the proud owner of a container of gooseberries so magnificently green they'd make a kiwi weep with envy.

I've been thinking about using them in a fool when my friends come for lunch on Saturday. But that's made me realise I'm not really familiar with other uses for gooseberries (crumbles? stewed and served with shortcake?), and I realised that I need some education. I mean, can you do "posh" gooseberries? All my ideas seem resolutely home-y.

Over to you, folks.  :smile:

Miss J

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I love a good fool.  Just stew your gooseberries with sugar and a little water, pass through a sieve to remove the seeds, and when it's cold fold into whipped cream.  In a nice glass, with a pretty garnish, it will be very elegant.  Some lovely tuiles alongside will help, too.

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I second John's mackerel suggestion - delicious.  Also, a second step with the fool is to fill a blind pie or flan case with it, and bake -maybe sprinkle some brown sugar on top.

Last week I ate two dishes at Union Pacific in New York which used rhubarb as a garnish, and in either case a gooseberry puree would have worked as well.  One was lightly poached fresh salmon (but stick with mackerel for preference).  The other was a slice of sauteed foie gras.  Now, that's out of reach for most home kitchens, but if you can find a nice terrine of foie gras, try serving it with a gooseberry sauce or puree - nice appetizer.  Heck, a slice of chunky pork pate would do!

Edit: And gooseberries are going to work with duck in just about any fashion.

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Miss J,

this is a recipe for Almond and Cape Gooseberry Torte. I tried it with raspberries, and it was great. Although your gooseberries may be too sour for this recipe?

Thanks helena - but I'm afraid that my gooseberries are very tart indeed, pretty much on the same level as rubarb.

Speaking of rubarb, I've heard that some enterprising bartenders have been experiementing with using the straight juice as a 'sour' element in new cocktails. Wonder if I could use gooseberry juice the same way? They'd be very green drinks, though...

Miss J

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Last week I ate two dishes at Union Pacific in New York which used rhubarb as a garnish, and in either case a gooseberry puree would have worked as well.  One was lightly poached fresh salmon (but stick with mackerel for preference).  The other was a slice of sauteed foie gras.
By an amazing coincidence, in May my wife and I had flash-fried foie gras sel with a rhubarb confit (chutney, they called it) on the side, at Domaine de la Tortinière, a pretentious luxury hotel in Montbazon, just outside Tours. The juxtaposition of those two flavors/textures was by far our best experience at the hotel -- and, due to a mixup on their part, we were occupying their most expensive suite at the cost of an ordinary double room.

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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Wilfrid & John W - how would you describe the gooseberry puree that was served with the fois gras? Was it still palate-ticklingly sharp, or had it been sweetened? If sweetened, was it as sweet as you'd make it for swirling with cream?

I'm intrigued!

Miss J

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Miss J, if you reread our posts, you'll see that in both cases it was rhubarb that we had. In my case, it was spiced with ginger and sweetened enough to balance the fruit's strong acidity. Wilfrid speculated that, for his salmon, gooseberry would have worked equally well.

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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Whether it be rhubarb or gooseberry, I would err on the tart side.  I think it's a matter of tasting and adjusting with sugar as you go.  But dessert-level sweetness - which is what Union Pacific gave us with the salmon - doesn't work for me.

I also just remembered rhubarb being used in the same way with monkfish liver at Esca.

Do we have gooseberries in New York?  Or should I shut up and go and have a look for myself?

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I had duck with a gooseberry and strawberry chutney.... a suprising but well worked mix.... A nice tartness to cut through the duck fat..

'You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline - it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.'

- Frank Zappa

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  • 2 years later...

I just saw these at the Nyack farmers market today. Anybody have any new suggestions? Would they go with pork?

Could they be substituted for sour cherries in many recipes?

Liz Johnson

Professional:

Food Editor, The Journal News and LoHud.com

Westchester, Rockland and Putnam: The Lower Hudson Valley.

Small Bites, a LoHud culinary blog

Personal:

Sour Cherry Farm.

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English gooseberries, bloody marvellous.

Combine with elderflower (cordial, fresh, teabags, whatever) for maximum synergy. I made a gooseberry and elderflower jelly that was clean as a whistle last year.

Fools also good. Mackerel and gooseberries also very good.

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Jane Grigson suggests gooseberries with osso bucco.

BTW, I picked up a pint this morning. I won't be using them until sunday. Do I keep them on the counter or in the fridge?

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Delia Smith online has several nice gooseberry recipes. If you click here and type in gooseberry in the search box you'll pull them up.

We've been discussing preserves in this thread, which I started because I made a very wonderful tasting preserve sort of following her recipe, except I used only 80% sugar by weight and fresh elderflowers instead of cordial (I followed the flower amounts/prep in Christine Ferber's book). It's a synergistic combination.

regards,

trillium

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Delia Smith online has several nice gooseberry recipes.  If you click here and type in gooseberry in the search box you'll pull them up.

regards,

trillium

Thank you trillium; what a great link... and the eldberry flower-gooseberry combo sounds amazing.

Here are the recipe names from Delia's site to encourage further browsing:

Italian Rice Creams with Gooseberry and Elderflower Purée

Gooseberry Yoghurt Fool

Gooseberry and Elderflower Ice Cream

A Very Easy One-crust Gooseberry Pie

Gooseberry and Crème Fraîche Tart

English Gooseberry Cobbler

Gooseberry and Elderflower Preserve

Summer Fruit Compote

Lindsey Shere'e Chez Panisse Desserts (egullet -amazon link gives $ to egullet if you order) is wonderful dessert cookbook--especially for fruit desserts and ice creams. It is one of the most prized cookbooks in my collection. Anyway, she has a nice sounding recipe for a gooseberry curd.

She suggests using the curd to fill pre-baked tartlets (and garnish wtih whipped cream) or else as a filling for cakes. The cake filling idea sounds wonderful to me.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I think you're my dessert cookery twin. Chez Panisse Desserts is one of my most favorite resources for making sweets with fruits and herbs. That book and Baking with Julia pretty much taught me all I know about desserts!

regards,

trillium

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 years later...

There are lots of gooseberries around here this time of year - these ones were ripe but still tart and $2 a pint:

gallery_42214_6041_70776.jpg

I made a 1:2 sugar:water syrup, snipped the tips of the berries and simmered them for a half hour. I got a thick red compote perfect for ice cream, toast, or in this case grilled pork loin, served with brie cremini caps, roasted new potatoes and greens from my garden :

gallery_42214_6041_6575.jpg

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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