14 June 2011

Saving the best until last - Gooseberry Cream & Elderflower Jelly Pots

Have I told you about our Gooseberry Bush?  We've only had it for a year and following on from when we bought it and it had around 15 or so small gooseberries, this year it has gone completely mad and there are just bucketloads of gooseberries on it!

We're total novices as regards growing gooseberries, so it's all been a voyage of gooseberry discovery.

This last weekend, I thought that perhaps if we took off the biggest of the gooseberries then it would give the smallest ones a chance to reach their full potential.

So, out went Hubby in the pouring rain on Sunday morning and picked 150g of the sharpest most tongue tinglingly beautiful little green gooseberries in the world, all so that I could make the Gooseberry Cream & Elderflower Jelly Pots recipe that I'd found on BBC Good Food website, where you can find the recipe.

Having picked the little green caterpillar out of the dish and given them a jolly good wash, I set to with the topping & tailing, which is one of the most tedious jobs ever.  Although, with the promise of a delicious dessert as a reward, it's a pain worth undertaking.

The gooseberries cooked really very quickly - far quicker than I was expecting, in fact.  They didn't turn to mush, thankfully, but just be aware that they do cook extremely quickly!  I'm sure it's not just my gooseberries that do it.

I was fascinated by the way the cream behaved, too.  Just the addition of some 25g of sugar, then boiled and simmered for 3 minutes changed the character of the cream immensely.  Isn't cooking just the most fascinating thing ever?  I was amazed at how quickly the cream began to set, once you'd incorporated the gooseberries.

I had my first taste around this stage - and knew we were onto a winner.

The elderflower jelly was also incredibly easy to make, although I did make two mistakes with it.  The first was that I made way too much, believing that it wouldn't make any difference.  In truth, the sweetness of the elderflower cordial was so intense that it quickly became apparent that there was too much of it there.  However, it was so gorgeous that it was forgivable.  The second error was that I poured it when it was really too hot still, which caused the top layer of the cream to begin disintegrating.  This made the jelly a little opaque, which was unfortunate from the look of the thing, but didn't affect its flavour at all.

With the Almond & Elderflower Cookies that I'd made to go with the pots, the whole thing was (and I quote Hubby) a "thing of beauty".


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