The last in a quartet of gooseberry posts – I promise I will change the subject next post.
In my honest, humble opinion this is the best gooseberry dessert recipe. It’s old-fashioned and simple to make – gooseberries are baked with a little brown sugar and a knob or two of butter, all covered in cake sponge. The berries are still very sharp and are perfectly balanced with the warm, sweet sponge. This is much more superior to the better-known Eve’s pudding – stewed cooking apples covered in sponge cake. I suspect this would work excellently with blackcurrants.
This recipe crops up in my traditional English or British cookery books, but I first heard of it from Jane Grigson (as I have many dishes) in her book English Food.
For the pudding, you can make any amount of topping, it’s dependent upon whether you like a thin or thick layer of sponge and the dimensions of your baking dish. I used a soufflé dish of diameter around 7 inches/18 centimetres. I think this is a good amount for this size, and for most family-sized dishes.
The sponge is made using the all-in-one method, so make sure your butter is extremely soft to ensure a light topping.
2 tbs Demerara or soft light brown sugar
a couple of knobs of salted butter
100 g very soft, salted butter
100g self-raising flour
100g caster sugar
Set your oven to 180°C.
Scatter the sugar and dot the butter on the bottom of your baking dish and cover with the gooseberries; you are aiming for a generous single layer of them.
Place the butter, flour, caster sugar and eggs in a bowl and beat together with an electric mixer until the mixture is smooth and well-combined. Using a large spoon or spatula, add the cake batter in big spoonfuls over the gooseberries and level it, you don’t have to be very neat here, the baking batter will flatted itself out.
Place in the oven and bake for around an hour until the top is a deep golden-brown colour.
Serve immediately with custard or lightly-whipped cream sweetened with a little icing sugar.
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