Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Gooseberry Pudding for the Best of British

The Best of British blogging challenge, which is sponsored by New World Appliances, has been running for a few months but I haven’t managed to enter before now. This month it features the beautiful county of Yorkshire and I can’t resist that. The details of the challenge can be found on The Face of New World Appliances and this month it’s hosted by Karen from Lavender & Lovage
Swaledale
Now Yorkshire could mean rhubarb, Yorkshire pudding, Old Peculier, curd tart or a slice of fruit cake with a piece of Wensleydale cheese amongst many other fine things. On the other hand, you might not immediately associate gooseberries with Yorkshire. In fact, there’s a long and very proud tradition of growing gooseberries in that county. The finest symbol of that tradition is the Egton Bridge Gooseberry Show, which is now over 200 years old and can boast that one of its competitors broke the world record for the heaviest gooseberry back in 2009 with a 62 g berry.

This recipe doesn’t require world record sized berries. It’s a very old-fashioned pudding that’s based, albeit loosely, on an Eliza Acton recipe from 1845. Actually, in some form or other, the dish is probably a fair bit older than that. It’s not the most attractive looking pudding but it is seriously full of flavour.
Gooseberry Pudding
This should serve four unless you have the appetite of a particularly aggressive fast bowler from Yorkshire.

300 g gooseberries
A generous squeeze of lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla extract or paste
60 g caster sugar
30 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
55 g amaretti biscuits (the crunchy ones rather than the soft kind)
2 eggs

Wash the gooseberries and place in a saucepan with a small splash of water, cover and place on a gentle heat. Cook the gooseberries, stirring regularly, until they fall apart. Work the gooseberry pulp through a fine sieve while still warm. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla.

Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves and then do the same with the butter. If the gooseberry mixture has cooled too much to allow the sugar to dissolve and the butter to melt, than put it back briefly onto a low heat. Once everything is thoroughly combined, set the mixture aside to cool completely.

Whiz the amaretti biscuits in a processor or bash them in a plastic bag until they’re reduced to quite fine crumbs - although a little variable texture is no bad thing. Whisk the eggs until they’re pale and frothy.

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Stir the crushed amaretti and the whisked egg into the cold gooseberry mixture until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into an ovenproof dish (something around 18 cm x 12 cm will do nicely) and bake in the oven for around 30 minutes until the top is a deep golden brown but the pudding still feels a little squidgy to the touch.

You can serve this pudding warm or at room temperature, but I prefer it well chilled and with a little or not so little cream on top.

17 comments:

  1. This sounds delicious, but now the problem is to find the gooseberries. I have not seen them in the shops or the markets. Mind you this has been a terrible year for fruit of all kinds, so maybe gooseberries were also on the endangered list this year! Have a good weekend Diane

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  2. ooooh, the amaretti biscuits have just sold me on this... sounds divine and I still have a bundle of purple gooseberries in the freezer just waiting for this recipe x

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  3. A FABULOUS entry thanks Phil, and I am so pleased that you mentioned the Egton Bridge Gooseberry Show, which, I managed to forget on my original post. I adore "goosegobs", as we used to call them in Yorkshire when I was little, and anything that contains these wee green and pink orbs in them, is a favourite dish or me.I also love your sun-dappled photo too.....a wonderful entry into Best of British thanks, and an interesting post too. Karen

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    1. There did seem to be a lot more gooseberries around when I was growing up and they really don't deserve to be forgotten. In fact this year's Egton Bridge Gooseberry Show takes place next Tuesday (7th August) if anyone is lucky enough to be in the area.

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  4. I love gooseberries :)The meadow's beautiful and may I have a plate or two of that please.

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  5. Lovely, this brings back memories, it's years since I ate gooseberries!

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  6. very nice pudding. I have not had gooseberries in ages!. I love the photographs. England is so green and so beautiful.

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  7. My mouth is watering at the idea of this sweet. Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

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  8. We used to have gooseberry eating competitions when I was a kid - they were so deliciously sour!

    This recipe sounds georgous - I'll have to go in search of some now, I don't think I've seen any in the shops this year.

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  9. This sounds delicious Phil. I love amaretti biscuits and gooseberries too. Unfortunately it was pouring with rain and so I put off collecting our bumper crop this year for a couple of days. I went to collet them at the weekend and they had all disappeared....not even one remained...I've no idea who the gooseberry thief was. I may have to try it with another fruit...I saw some very ripe cherry plums when I was walking through the village...I may do a spot of late night foraging.
    Thanks for sharing this.
    Deb

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  10. Looks great! Haven't had gooseberries in ages, I'm looking forward to trying them out!

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  11. That looks great - I'm a big fan of gooseberries, they're so underused, so it's good to see another way to use them.

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  12. Well amaretti biscuits don't sound very Yorkshire but I'm willing to believe you. It sounds like this would be a most delicious pudding. A 62g gooseberry is hard to believe too!

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    1. Well I did say it was loosely based on the old recipe. Traditionally, breadcrumbs would be used but they don't taste as good. Apparently, gooseberry sizes were down at this year's show due to poor weather.

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  13. Wow a great entry for Best of british - definitely would not have associated gooseberry with yorkshire!

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  14. Congratulations Phil! Your unique post and recipes WON this round of Best of British! As picked by my husband! I will be announcing this in my round up later on today and Fiona of London Unattached will be contact re. your prize! THANKS so much for entering! Karen

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    1. Thanks so much for choosing my recipe. I'm so pleased that the humble gooseberry has not been forgotten - at least not in Yorkshire.

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