Sunday, 2 August 2009

Gooseberry fool

I was extremely lucky recently to be sent a gift box from Abel and Cole to try some of the items from their “kitchen cupboard – baking” section. I’ve showcased these items elsewhere, but included in my box were some of the most gorgeous gooseberries I’ve ever tasted. Now, I know what you’re going to say, “ but this fool can’t be made with gooseberries – gooseberries are green!”.

Well, these are dessert gooseberries and are the same colour as a black grape. They are also much sweeter than the green gooseberry and taste like fruit punch, yet all from one fruit!

Whilst making this, I pondered whether any dessert had a less fortunate name! Gooseberry is always used disparagingly – it’s the unwanted person in a trio. Fool is obviously not a compliment. So I searched the net to find out why such a tasty dessert would be labelled a fool. As with much of life, there are no straightforward answers.

‘Foole’ is first mentioned as a dessert in 1598. Some people say that the word ‘fool’ comes from the French “fouler” meaning to crush, but the Oxford English Dictionary dismisses this as without evidence. Maybe we’ll never’s something to ponder whilst tucking into a bowlful of nature’s delights!


350g gooseberries ( I used dessert gooseberries)
1 tablespoon water
75g (or to taste) caster sugar
300ml double cream
200g cold, fresh custard

How to make:

- Place the washed gooseberries in a saucepan with the water and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. There’s no need to top and tail the fruit as the pulp will be sieved later.

- Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring to ensure the fruit breaks down.

- Puree in a food processor, then sieve the ensure that all the pips are removed.

- Stir in the sugar, then leave to cool completely.

- Whip the cream until it reaches the soft peak stage.

- Fold in the custard.

- Fold in the gooseberry puree. Don’t over stir as it’s nice to have a marbled texture.

- Spoon into dessert glasses.

- Chill until required.

- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.

- Eat.


pigpigscorner said...

I've only had the green ones and there are extremely sour. I froze them and still wondering what to do with them. This sounds like a great idea!

C said...

Ooooh, yum!!! Gooseberry fool is one of my favourite desserts. I've grown some of my own red gooseberries this year and have bought and frozen some green ones, so I'm well stocked to make delicious fools. Dessert gooseberries do look amazing though don't they! And less hairy too!

Nora said...

Wow, I've never seen those gooseberries. I'm a huge fan of fool made with the ordinary green version, but I shall definitely be keeping an eye out for dessert gooseberries. They sound delicious.

Joy said...

What a lovely dessert! Usually I see Fools that are just fruit and cream - too rich for me! I like your recipe, thankyou!