Last Sunday we made a brief visit to Medley Manor Farm, a once frequent haunt that we’ve neglected since moving to the House at Nab End. Our quarry: gooseberries and broad beans. We were unlucky with the latter; the cold, wet spring had prevented the first crop, and the second was still a week or so from being ready. But there were gooseberries a-plenty.
These otherworldly-looking fruit hang lantern-like amongst the dark leaves and treacherous thorns. In the afternoon light they almost glow; veins showing, hairs bristling.
Back home, high in the hedgerows the heady blooms of elder sway in the breeze. Their pungent scent hits us as we pass. These creamy-white flower heads are the perfect partner for our freshly-picked gooseberries.
Gooseberry and elderflower fool
Wash, then top and tail about 350g of gooseberries. Place them in a pan over a low heat with four tablespoons of sugar and two of butter.
Place four large elderflower heads on top of the berries, add a lid, and leave to gently stew until the fruit has softened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Once cooled, remove the elderflowers, then gently mash the gooseberries into a rough pulp.
Whip about 250 ml of double cream, then fold the gooseberry mixture into the cream, taking care not to over mix it.
Dollop into glasses and serve with shortbread or butter biscuits.