I can hardly wait for my gooseberries to be ripe – which sounds like a line from ‘The Two Ronnies’ – gooseberry crumble has been requested, but looking in Mrs Beeton, I also find recipes for gooseberry and currant jam, gooseberry cream, gooseberry fool, gooseberry pudding – baked or boiled, gooseberry tart, gooseberry trifle and gooseberry wine. A friend of ours made gooseberry wine and it was really delicious, very pale, pale green and very slightly pétillant.
- the jam needs 6 lbs of red hairy gooseberries (this is sounding more and more like ‘The Two Ronnies’!) and ½ pint red currant juice
- the cream is sieved cooked gooseberries mixed with cream which has been thickened with gelatine and coloured with food colouring (Mrs Beeton suggests spinach-greening…)
- the fool is made with a pint of pulp to ¼ pint whipped cream, sweetened to taste
- the baked pudding is made from 1½ pints gooseberries which have been cooked in a jar standing in a saucepan of boiling water and rubbed through a sieve, added to ½ pint of breadcrumbs, 2 oz sugar, 1½ oz butter and poured into a dish lined with pastry and then baked – in Mrs Beeton’s day (18455 when this book was published, it would have cost 1 shilling)
- boiled pudding has a pudding basin line with suet crust, filled with half of 1½ pounds of fruit, sprinkled with 2 tbsps of brown sugar and then the rest of the fruit added, put the suet crust on top and seal very carefully then cook for 2½-3 hours
- the gooseberry tart sounds to us more like a pie as it is covered with pastry on top, but it has the same quantities of fruit and brown sugar as the boiled pudding
- the trifle is just what you would expect a trifle to be,fruit, custard and cream, garnished with glacé cherries and strips of angelica
- and gooseberry wine… is wine made out of gooseberries! I have no idea about wine making, and although the process sounds easy enough when you read about it, I’m sure there must be more to it than the recipe suggests!!