It's hard to find these hirsute fruits (I bought them from new food ordering website Food4London.co.uk that brings together growers and producers from just the south east), and the season is so short that you can't help getting a little excited by their tempting tartness.
With just one small punnet, I was several gooseberries short of a pie, and with a hot August sun beating through my kitchen window, my thoughts turned to sorbet. I love a good ice, particularly a sharp, palate-cleansing one. Raspberry sorbet is a personal favourite and so easy to make - just pureed fruit, lemon juice, sugar and water. I've applied this same simple formula to gooseberries, adding some elderflower cordial to give a softer, sweeter floral note, and the result is fresh and delicious - a modern take on a stalwart English fruit. Enjoy.
Gooseberry and elderflower sorbet
Serves 6 (in shot glasses)
1 tbsp elderflower cordial
90g caster sugar
70 ml water
Juice of ½ lemon
Put the gooseberries and elderflower cordial into a saucepan. Add a splash of water and poach the fruit on a gentle heat until soft and pulpy.
Push the gooseberries and juice through a fine sieve. Set aside to cool.
Into another pan, put the sugar and water then slowly bring up to the boil. Allow to bubble for 2 mins until syrupy. Take off the heat and allow to cool.
Mix the fruit and the cooled sugar syrup together with the lemon juice. Pour into a plastic tub then put into the freezer (or pour into an ice-cream maker). Stir with a metal spoon every hour for 3-4 hours to break up the ice crystals.
Serve in shot glasses with a spring of mint.