- 3 cups gooseberries
- 3 tbsps. Superfine (Castor) sugar
- ½ cup water
- 2 strips lemon zest
- 3 tbsps. Elderberry syrup (see note)
- 1 cup organic heavy cream
- 1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
- Wash gooseberries, if sieving them for a puree there is no need to top and tail the berries. If you desire a chunkier fool with pieces of fruit, top and tail berries. Place them in a heavy bottomed saucepan with the sugar, lemon zest and water. Heat the fruit over a medium heat for about five minutes until the berries burst. Remove the saucepan from the heat, let cool, then chill in the refridgerator for about an hour.
- When the berries have chilled, pour off any excess liquid, then using a mixing spoon and a sieve, make a fruit puree by pushing the berries through the sieve. Add the elderflower syrup to the puree.
- Beat the heavy cream with a hand mixer until it forms soft peaks, but is not stiff.
- Fold in the yogurt. Then fold in the fruit, swirling the puree through the cream-yogurt mixture. Serve in pretty glasses or bowls with a sprig of mint and thin lemon cookies.
Elderflower syrup is available at European, particularly Eastern European, food stores. You could substitute St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur that is widely available.
Seeing gooseberries at Chicago’s Green City Market this week made me nostalgic for a very old-fashioned dessert, gooseberry fool. Fools are cream and fruit based desserts dating back to the fifteenth century. They are traditionally made with whipped cream, custard and fruit – usually berries. Given the time of year gooseberries are in season in the Midwest, custard seemed awfully heavy for our typically hot, humid days. I lightened up this version calorically and otherwise by substituting Greek-style yogurt for the custard. As a result, this Gooseberry and Elderflower Fool is refreshingly tart and light as air.
Gooseberries are naturally tart and, like cranberries, need to be cooked with sugar to bring out their sweetness. Wine-colored gooseberries seem to be the only variety available at my local farmers’ markets, but this recipe can be prepared with the green variety too. The wine-colored variety are slightly sweeter and turn the fool a delicate pink when mixed with the cream and yogurt. It’s important to use organic heavy cream in this recipe to more closely replicate the rich, yellow cream of Ireland.