This almost looks like vanilla ice cream but the flavour is unmistakeably gooseberry.
I bought a single package at last week's Farmers' Market. A couple of the Hutterite Colonies had them. I had never tasted a gooseberry so did a little research. Hmmm...there are actually two different berries that we call gooseberries.
One is a cape gooseberry and is what we commonly see in the grocery store. It is a relative of the tomatillo and has that papery covering on the berry. It makes a lovely garnish on a fruit tray or beautiful salad plate.
The more common gooseberry is a grape-like fruit that is very tart. It also has a lot of natural pectin so is wonderful made into jams. For my first time cooking with them, I have chosen the ice cream and it is to die for. Oh, and I forgot to mention that gooseberries are so tart that they must be cooked with sugar to be edible.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall who writes for the The Guardian, has this glowing assessment:
"These characterful berries have a long association with British cooking. Way back in the 1600s, herbalist Nicholas Culpeper talked of them being scalded, baked or eaten raw; there are recipes for them in Hannah Glasse's Art Of Cookery(1747), in Eliza Acton's Modern Cookery(1845) and Mrs Beeton's Book Of Household Management(1861). Gooseberry wine, gooseberry sauce, gooseberry pudding, gooseberry jam and jelly: these simple dishes are gifts from a time when richness of flavour was appreciated as much as sweetness."
The wonderful thing about the following recipe is that one does not need to top and tail the berries. They are cooked and then passed through a sieve to obtain a smooth purée.
Gooseberry ice-cream from The GuardianThis luscious, sweet-tart ice is great with shortbread biscuits. Serves four.
125g caster sugar
250ml double cream
125ml whole milk
2 large egg yolks
Put the gooseberries and 65g of the sugar in a large pan with a trickle of water – just enough to cover the base of the pan (don't add water if you're using frozen berries). Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the berries are completely soft and mostly broken. Rub through a sieve into a bowl, and discard the skins and pips. As soon as the puree is completely cool, chill in the fridge.
Combine half the cream with the milk in a pan and bring to just below boiling point. Whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar, then pour the hot milk and cream on to them, whisking all the time. Return this custard to the pan and stir over a gentle heat until it thickens. Remove from the heat, pour through a sieve into a clean bowl and cover the surface with clingfilm or greaseproof paper, to stop a skin forming. Leave until completely cool, then chill.
Combine the custard with the puree. Very lightly whip the remaining double cream, just until it holds soft peaks (if you make it too stiff, it will be hard to fold in), and fold into the gooseberry custard. Taste and add sugar if you think it needs it – it should taste a little too sweet because its sweetness will be muted once it's frozen.
Pour into an ice-cream machine, churn until soft-set, then transfer to the freezer to freeze completely. Alternatively, pour the mix into a plastic container and freeze for about an hour or until the sides start to get solid; once this happens, mash with a fork, mixing the frozen sides into the liquid centre, and return to the freezer for another hour. Repeat this twice more at hourly intervals, then leave to set solid. Remove from the freezer about 30 minutes before serving, to soften a little.