Gooseberry fool is a classic English dessert, really easy to make and full of zingy fruit flavour. An optional splash of gin adds a little decadence which will have gin lovers coming back for more.
Who doesn't like a dessert at the end of a meal? I certainly do and although we don't always have one at the end of every meal, I think a special meal is just not the same without one. We rarely have dessert during the week but weekends are different and as they also tend to be very busy for us a quick and easy dessert is just the ticket.
These gooseberry fools are perfect for such occasions and as we are currently in the throws of picking our homegrown gooseberries now is the time to make this English classic. I've come to the conclusion that growing and picking gooseberries is a labour of love. The bushes are really prickly and picking them can be a touch painful at times. That said the fruit is so full of flavour and has such a mouth-watering delicious tanginess that it's well worth the effort.
Luckily you can still hunt them down in larger supermarkets, greengrocers and farm shops when they are in season. They can also be found frozen. I have a farm shop near my holiday cottages in Suffolk that sells loose frozen fruit including gooseberries and it was here that I used to buy them before I started to grow my own.
Did you know the name fool comes from the french verb fouler, to crush. I've made this classic dessert with puréed gooseberries for a smooth silky texture and topped them with some crushed gooseberries. To me the perfect combination.
Hints, Tips and Variations
- You can make a fruit fool with a variety of fruit but I think they work best with tart fruit in this case gooseberries, but you could also try rhubarb or blackcurrants. Check out this recipe for Blackcurrant Fool by Tin and Thyme. If you use sweeter fruits such as strawberries or raspberries (both of which do not need cooking first), reduce the amount of sugar.
- I've added a splash of gin for extra flavour but you can leave it out if you prefer.
- Traditionally the fruit purée is folded into the cream until combined but if you prefer you can just marble it through the cream instead.
- I've also pushed the fruit through a sieve for a traditional smooth fruit fool (after reserving some for the top). It doesn't take too long but you could skip this step for a fool with more texture (if you don't mind a few seeds).
- Replace some of the cream with Greek yogurt for a lower fat version.
- Prepare up to a day ahead - perfect for entertaining.
Step by step Gooseberry Fool
- blender (optional)
- 500 g gooseberries
- 125 g golden caster sugar
- 2 tablespoon gin (optional)
- 300 ml double (heavy) cream
- Top and tail the gooseberries by pinching the stem and flower end away. Rinse well.
- Place in a saucepan with sugar and water, cook gently stirring occasionally, until the gooseberries are very soft and tender, about 10 minutes.
- Use a draining spoon and remove a spoonful of the gooseberries and set aside. Purée the remaining gooseberries and then push through a nylon sieve, then stir in the gin if using. Allow to cool.
- Whip the cream until it is just standing in soft peaks, fold in the gooseberry purée. Spoon into glasses. Chill for at least 1 hour or until required.
- Spoon the reserved gooseberries on top just before serving.
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I'm sharing this recipe with #CookBlogShare hosted at Curly's Cooking