Probably my favourite gooseberry fact is that 18th century Lancastrian weavers used to hold annual competitions for who could grow the largest gooseberry. Having grown-up in Lancashire I can certainly vouch for how well the fruit grows in the region. Many of my happiest childhood summer memories are of me proudly holding the bowl for my dad to put the berries into as he scrambled amongst the prickly bushes. And then sitting with my mum to top and tail them for crumble or pie.
This recipe is from Elizabeth David’s ‘Summer Cooking‘. It is a fabulously bright and delicious way to use three fruits which are in season together. I think she has their proportions spot on: twice the weight of gooseberries to raspberries; and then twice the weight raspberries to redcurrants. The ‘salad’ should be served hot, with mint leaves strewn over.
Creme fraiche or thick cream is essential for dolloping into your dish with the hot fruits. I like to serve elderflower madeleines – which have been ubiquitous for me this summer – alongside.
Hot gooseberry, raspberry & redcurrant salad (serves 3)
1tbsp caster sugar
Top and tail the gooseberries. Put into a pan with the sugar and cook on a medium heat for 4 minutes. Then add the currants for 2 minutes and finally the raspberries for another 2 minutes. Serve hot with the mint leaves and creme fraiche.