Walking through the Kingston farmers’ market, we came across a stand with pink and green gooseberries, which I had never tried before. The stand-keeper (for lack of a better name) was kind enough to let me taste them. Both were delicious but the pink were a nice blend of sweet and tart so I bought a punnet and then went rummaging around for a way to use them. Lo and behold we discovered the “gooseberry fool”, which was a marvelous sounding dessert as long as our 3-year-old did not take to heart the expression “fool on me? no, fool on you!“
Recipe (enough for 4 servings):
1 punnet of pink gooseberries
1/2 punnet of blackberries
2/3 cup of heavy cream
3 big tablespoons of creme fraiche
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup superfine granulated sugar
ginger snap cookies
fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1. Remove the tops and tails of the gooseberries (you can see them in the top photo) using scissors or pinching with your fingernails. Then cut the berries in half. In a medium saucepan, cook the gooseberries and blackberries over medium-low heat with 1/4 cup of sugar, stirring constantly and then mashing up the berries thoroughly with a fork once they began to soften. Cook this puree for about 7 or 8 minutes, then remove from heat to cool in a small bowl, then cover and place in the fridge to chill.
2. In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream and creme fraiche until slightly stiff, then add the 1/4 cup superfine sugar and continue whipping until the mixture can hold stiff peaks (I used an electric beater to speed things up). Then fold in the berry puree.
3. Take a large handful of ginger snaps and pulse them in a food processor until you have smallish crumbs. Melt the 2 tbsp of butter and combine butter and crumbs in a bowl and stir around until well mixed together.
4. Take a big handful of mint leaves and loosely chop them up.
5. In your serving glass (or bowl), put down a layer of the “fool” (cream and berry mixture). Loosely scatter a thin layer of of chopped mint leaves. Then add a layer of the ginger snap crumbs. Repeat once more and garnish with some mint leaves.
The picture above shows a version without the layers of chopped mint leaves, since I tried it this way first and took the picture. I quickly decided that it needed more of a mint kick and the results proved out that theory. The blackberries brought out the incredible pink color.