24 July 2016
Gooseberry sponge pudding
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees or 160 degrees fan oven. 2. Wash the gooseberries, trim off the “tops and tails” then place them in the bottom of a baking dish
I used a pyrex dish about 18cm by 25cm. Sprinkle the soft light brown sugar over the berries, spoon the elderflower cordial over them too and then mix well together.
3. To make the sponge, first place the soft margarine, or butter if you prefer, cut into small pieces in a large mixing bowl, pour in the caster sugar and cream together well.
4. Beat the eggs in a small bowl then add the beaten egg gradually to the creamed margarine and sugar, stirring to mix it in thoroughly.
5. Sift the flour into the mixing bowl and gently fold it into the mixture.
6. Add the milk, a spoonful at a time, and fold into the mixture.
7. Spoon the sponge mixture on top of the gooseberries and level it off evenly. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, sprinkle on a little more soft brown sugar to top the sponge, then return to the oven and bake for a further 15-20 minutes, until the sponge is cooked and the top is golden brown.
I can never understand why, in the middle of gooseberry season in the UK, this lovely tart and juicy fruit that grows so well here is almost impossible to find for sale in shops and supermarkets.
Luckily I managed to find a big bagful in a little village food market, and so was able to make this wonderful gooseberry sponge pudding, flavoured with elderflower cordial, a fantastic seasonal summer dessert to serve after Friday lunch; if you can find some gooseberries give it a try, served with fresh cream or custard.
Serves 6-8 people.