Tuesday, June 23, 2009


This is only the second year for my gooseberries and they are still quite small. However, both plants have a few fruit. This one is Ribes 'Hinnonmaki Red' and although there are too few to make jam or a chutney this year, I think there are enough to make a Gooseberry Fool. (I’ll post the recipe and photos later when I make it.)

Gooseberries basically fall into 2 categories: dessert gooseberries, and cooking gooseberries. Cooking gooseberries are usually shiny-green and quite tart, enough so they make your mouth pucker when eaten raw. Cooking gooseberries with a little honey or sugar releases their delicious, complex flavors.

Dessert gooseberries are usually colored from red to yellow, appearing almost transparent, and sweet enough to eat raw. I did find the skins on my red ones to be rather thick and chewy but the taste is wonderful! (I suspect cooking a bit will make the skins tender.)

Any gooseberries to be cooked should have the stem and blossom end removed; scissors work just fine. (The Brits call this “top and tail”.) Put the berries in a little water and add some honey or sugar to taste. Gently simmer the berries for a few minutes until soft, adjusting sweetness. Now you can use the berries for any pie or other dessert recipe. (Note: For jam, cook the fruit and sugar according to your jam recipe but don’t forget to “top and tail” the berries first.)

1 comment:

  1. ohhhhh...i love gooseberries!!! i had them planted here but a my gardens grew in they did not get enough sun and they died. i used to buy them off the streets in czech republic and just eat them by the handfuls. they never lasted long enough to turn them into jam! yum!


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