By Zsofi Cohen, 5th period
History and Origin
Gooseberries are derived from the European gooseberry (Ribes grossularia) and the Americna gooseberry (Ribes hiretellium). They are closely related to currants and the French "groseille." It has been cultivated since the 16th century in Europe. Gooseberries were originally used as medicine to treat fevers and the Black Plague.
Gooseberries grow best in climates with humid summers and chill winters. The coastal ranges and San Francisco Bay Area have the most suitable climate for growing gooseberries. They can be grown in basically any soil and must be fertilized with a fertilizer high in potassium. Some varieties of gooseberries are glendale, careless, early sulphur, and whitesmith.
Buying and Storing Gooseberries
When picking out gooseberries at the store, look for dry, firm fruits that are rich in color. They can be refridgerated for up to two weeks. Gooseberries are high in vitamin C and fiber.
- Heat oven to 200C. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Beat the eggs, yogurt, elderflower cordial and melted butter together with a pinch of salt, then stir into the dry ingredients. Spoon into the cases, bake for 18-20 mins until risen and golden, then cool on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, put the gooseberries and the sugar into a frying pan, then gently cook for 10 minutes until most of the berries have collapsed. Taste for sweetness, then stir in the elderflower cordial and allow to cool. Once cool, fold into the crème fraîche.
- To serve, cut a section out of the top of each cake using a small, serrated knife - Spoon a dessertspoonful or so of the fool into each cake, top with the piece that you cut away, then dust with powdered sugar.
- Heat oven to 190C. Place the gooseberries, caster sugar, ginger and elderflower in a saucepan with 4 tbsp water and cook, covered, for 5 mins until the berries begin to pop. Pour into a baking dish.
- Make the topping. Sift the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs, then stir in the caster sugar. Mix in the buttermilk to give a soft, sticky dough. Dollop spoonfuls on top of the gooseberries, then sprinkle with the demerara. Bake for 25 mins or until golden brown and crusty.