Fruity and floral, the scent of gooseberries simmering is one of the quintessential aromas of summer and they aren’t around for long, so if you see them at the market this week, snag them up!
So what are these silly little slightly furry berries and what can be made of them? Well, for starters, there are two periods during their growing season that the are delightful for eating. When they are green like the berries in the bottom of the above picture and when they are more translucent and almost purple like the ones on the top.
The green berries are for cooking and need a little sugar. They are fairly tart and quite firm to the touch. Plan on using 1 tbsp of sugar to every 1/2 cup of fruit. Remove the stems and tops with kitchen shears then cook the two down in a saucepan until the berries have softened then use as an accompanying fruit sauce for fish or chicken or put them in your dessert crisp. I love the combination of elderberries and gooseberries.
The real treat (and you are lucky if you find these!) are the “dessert” berries like the ones in the top of the photo. They have ripened to be sweet and are great in all sorts of preparations including the simple fruit salad.
Now hurry out and find some at your local farmer’s market!