Gooseberry Fool is like a British summer in a bowl. This easy to make, creamy, sweet-tart dessert is a delicious treat, keeps well in the fridge, and is perfect for entertaining.
What on Earth is a Gooseberry?
Gooseberries have funny little stems (tops and tails) on each end and they can be kind of fuzzy. Normally a bright, jewel-like green, you can also find red, pink and even purple gooseberries from time to time. Green gooseberries are very tart, however, pink, red or purple gooseberries (often called dessert gooseberries) are fairly sweet.
Properly prepared, gooseberries are a gorgeous summer treat, redolent of a beautiful British summer day. Gooseberry jam is absolutely delicious, and I will happily abandon my healthy eating resolutions for a good gooseberry pie.
How do you Pronounce Gooseberry?
The Canadian in me would pronounce the name of this fruit as ‘Gooseberries’, saying ‘goose’ like the bird and ‘berry’ as, well, ‘berry’. However here in England it’s pronounced ‘Guzburry’. I’ve never quite understood this. Okay, ‘berry’ is pronounced ‘burry’ in most parts of England, but we say ‘goose’ similarly to North Americans when referring to the species of bird. It’s just one of those great British mysteries – like why ‘Derby’ is pronounced ‘Darby’, ‘shire’ as ‘sheer’, ‘Birmingham’ as ‘Birmingum’ and Reading, as Redding.
How to Prepare and Eat Gooseberries
First you need to top and tail them by cutting the tiny brown stem from the top and the little green ‘tail’ from the bottom of the berry. This is easily done with scissors.
Gooseberries can then be cooked whole in pies and crumble recipes just like blueberries, or you can gently stew or poach them on the stove top and use them in fools like this, or stir them through yogurt or porridge.
What’s the History of Gooseberry Fool?
Gooseberry fool is a classic English dessert traditionally made with sweetened cream and pureed fruit. Fruit fools been around since the sixteenth century and are a great way to use up fruit that it is a bit over ripe or on the tart side.
How Can I Make Gooseberry Fool Healthier?
My recipe incorporates yogurt to try to make gooseberry fool a bit healthier, however you really do need to add sugar to gooseberries and use mainly double (heavy) cream so you just need to look on this dessert as an occasional treat. That’s not hard though, as gooseberries are only in season for a little while!
How Do I Serve Gooseberry Fool?
Fools can be prepared a few hours in advance of serving, so they are great for entertaining. A little goes a long way so I like to serve the Gooseberry Fool in martini glasses or my late Mom’s vintage tea cups. I also like to garnish the fools with fresh mint, if I happen to have any growing on my windowsill or in the garden.
Gooseberry Fool can be served with Pistachio Crescents or other light cookies or biscuits alongside if you like.
Gooseberry Fool – Printable Recipe
- 2 cups fresh gooseberries, washed, topped and tailed
- 4 tablespoons granulated or caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup St Germain liqueur or undiluted elderflower cordial
- 1½ cups double (heavy) cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ cup plain or vanilla yogurt
- fresh mint leaves to garnish
- Place the prepared gooseberries in a saucepan.
- Stir in the 4 tablespoons of sugar and water.
- Heat over a very low heat, stirring frequently, until the fruit begins to break apart. This will take between 10 and 15 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir the gooseberries, breaking any remaining pieces of fruit down so that it becomes a rough puree. Don't worry about the seeds. They are very soft and completely edible.
- Let the mixture cool. When cool, refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.
- Remove the gooseberry puree from the fridge.
- Drain away any runny liquid using a sieve.
- Stir the St Germain liqueur or elderflower cordial into the gooseberry puree.
- Whip the cream and the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
- Whip in the yogurt.
- Fold the gooseberry puree very gently into the cream and yogurt mixture. You want to be able to see ripples of gooseberry puree.
- Spoon gently into 6 serving dishes.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve (up to 4 hours).
- Garnish with mint leaves before serving.
St Germain is a liqueur made from elderflowers.