I have memories of gooseberries on my dad’s lawn. Heading out to the woods to play on the weekends, I would usually grab a few berries as I walked by. I’m not entirely sure why, it was like a compulsion. It’s not as if they were delicious… in fact they were the opposite of delicious. They were anti-delicious. Tart, tiny, and they had the magical power of being able to suck every drop of moisture out of your mouth.
Last summer when I moved to Brighton last August, I went up to Ben’s parents’ house. They have a rather large gooseberry plant in their front yard. Because, I have the gooseberry equivalent to Stockholm Syndrome, I climbed in to the bushes and grabbed some berries and popped them in my mouth. To my surprise, they were sweet and juicy! They were so good, I may have sat on the lawn and eaten most of them (sorry!!).
I was so looking forward to them again this year.
Unfortunately, British people (and by which I mean Ben) think that gooseberries are at their peak when they are young- the terribly sour gooseberries of my youth.
And so, I ended up with a bag of VERY tart gooseberries in my fridge.
I also had some incredibly creamy coconut yogurt waiting for me, and so it was decided- gooseberry compote it was!
And, although this in no way replaced eating them, sun-warmed, straight from the bush, it’s a pretty good way to start the day- and will leave you with all of your mouth moisture.
- 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) gooseberries
- 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
- 50 ml (1/4 cup) water
- 2 tablespoons elderflower cordial (optional)
- Wash the gooseberries well, then top and tail them.
- Place the gooseberries, sugar and water in a small pot.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the berries become soft and syrupy.
- Stir in cordial, if using.
- Taste and add more sugar if it’s too tart.
- Remove the pot from the heat and allow the compote to cool.