Baking wise, summertime is berry time for me. Berry season offers you a multitude of delicious fruit just waiting to be made into cakes, pies, galettes, and tarts. When it comes to my favourite berry, I’d have to say it’s a toss up between cherries and strawberries. They aren’t the most exotic of berries, but the urge to eat a big pie of Goji berries has never quite struck me the way a big cherry pie has. Unfortunately this isn’t a recipe for cherry pie, though I am sure one will come before summers end.
My garden has a mind of it’s own, though I plant what I want to grow, it picks what actually grows. I have attempted many a time to grow strawberries but with incredible frustration to no avail. Garden… Why you no give me strawberries?! *sigh* So fruit wise, I have an apple tree, a long trellis of grapes (they are sour as ****) tomatoes, pumpkins that only show every other year, watermelons that use to come every year but haven’t since 2009, and apparently a gooseberry bush.
If you like sweet sour tastes then these cute little berries are for you
I don’t intentionally say that in a surprised manner, it hasn’t been a surprise since this time last year. I noticed a weird shrub growing behind some jasmine flowers and to this day I’m not quite sure where it came from, I’ve decided on the story that a bird must have eaten some gooseberries and pooped it out there. It turned out to be a red gooseberry bush and this year it’s branches were heaving with berries.
Gooseberries have a short season, from mid-June to late July are usually when they’re ripest. So I decided to try out a recipe using my new berry friends. I must warn you that I find that gooseberries are an acquired taste. The best way to describe them is sweet sour. If you like sweet sour tastes then these cute little berries are for you. You can combat the sharpness of the fruit by using liberal amounts of sugar when trying this recipe.
So lets do this!
Prep time 20 minutes
Cooking time approximately 35 minutes
175g unsalted butter, melted
36 gooseberries de-stemed
300g brown sugar
5 egg whites
60g plain flour
135 ground almonds
Begin by preheating the oven to 350F/180°c, gas mark 4 and greasing your muffin trays.
1. In a medium saucepan on low-medium heat add the gooseberries and 50g of the brown sugar. Add 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and leave to simmer for 5 minutes or until the berries are tender. Drain the excess liquid and place.
2. In a bowl whisk together the egg whites. When they are frothy add the almonds, flour and remaining sugar and beat until well incorporated.
3. Add in the melted butter and stir until the mixture is golden brown. Divide the mixture evenly between your muffin tray.
4. Put three gooseberries in each of the mixtures and place in the oven, and bake for 3-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes before removing them from the tray and leaving them to cool completely on a wire rack.
This was the first time I tried this recipe but I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a good way to introduce yourself to gooseberries!