Despite our extremely chilly weather here in California, a visit from my brother and a lucky find at our local high-end grocery store, made a dreamy summer English dessert a reality today.
There's really nothing like Gooseberry Fool. A very simple dessert to prepare, assuming you can find the gooseberries, this incredible combination of tart fruit, sugar, and whipped cream creates a bold and unique fresh flavor that makes this my favorite dessert. I even listed this dish as one of my Five Foods Everyone Should Try.
In our childhood garden in England, we had two or three thorny gooseberry bushes at the end of the garden, behind the vegetable patch. I remember picking them in the sweltering sun (!) and planting a sunflower that grew to at least 6 ft nearby (hmm...how tall was I then?...it was very, very tall anyhow).
The gooseberries I used today were about half the size I remember, organic gooseberries from Chile:
My brother and I mused on what made the Chilean growers decide to grow gooseberries of all things. It certainly seemed odd, but today we were both grateful. However, I fear Gooseberry Fool may be particularly delicious to the English taste buds. My brother and I couldn't get enough of this creamy dessert, but my daughter Sweetpea didn't like it (although she scoffed half the Quality Street Chocolates my brother brought) and hubby's comment on a small spoonful (all I was willing to give up anyway) was "different".
Well, maybe we're mad Englishfolk, but, if you are lucky enough to find gooseberries at your local grocery store, I hope you'll try this dreamy English dessert.
6 oz gooseberries
1/4 cup+ sugar
1/2 cup+ heavy whipping cream
Top and tail the gooseberries and place in a small saucepan. Cover with water and add sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the berries are tender. Drain off half of the liquid.
Pass the cooked gooseberries and remaining liquid through a sieve, pressing with the back of a spoon to remove the seeds. Taste the liquidy mix and add more sugar if particularly tart. Cool.
Beat the heavy whipping cream until stiff. Combine the gooseberries with the cream, reserving a spoonful of gooseberry. Serve in a pretty glass dish and top with reserved gooseberry.