Gooseberry Crumble

Monday 20 July 2009

"You can't grow hairs on a duck egg,
Hairs only grow on an ape,
And it's only the hairs on a goosegog,
That stop it from being a grape."

~author unknown

Both fruity and floral, the scent of simmering gooseberries is one of my favourite summer scents. They do closely resemble green grapes except that they are covered in funny little hairs, and don't come in clusters. One would almost expect them to feel all prickly when you touch them, but they don't . . .

The gooseberry season is very short, only lasting from 3 to 4 weeks, so it is best to grab them while you can. We have a lovely u-pick place not far from us, and so we pick lots, cleaning them and putting them up in the freezer in freezer bags to bring out in the coming winter months and remind us of these warm and sunny summer days when the cold winds are blowing . . . I open freeze them on baking trays and then I can just pour out as many as I need without having to thaw out the lot.

I like to top and tail my gooseberries before eating them, although it's not really necessary. It's very easy to do with a pair of kitchen scissors. (I do this before freezing them) Rinse well in running water to remove any dust or debris. Then lightly pat them dry with some paper kitchen toweling.

Eaten raw . . . they are hard and sour, but when cooked ( add some sugar, or honey and a splash of elderflower cordial) they have a wonderfully muscat flavour. Simply stewed, they make delightful fruit fool and they are also wonderful spooned over cold vanilla ice cream.

But my most favourite way to eat them of all is this . . .

*Gooseberry Crumble*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This is an excellent summer pudding. Who doesn't like crumble? This is a wonderfully delicious way to showcase these lovely berries that are only available to eat fresh for a few weeks durin gthe summer months. Elderflower helps to bring out and enhance their rich wine-like flavour.

2 pounds of gooseberries (4 to 5 cups)
4 to 6 TBS of caster sugar (depending on how tart or sweet you like your gooseberries)
3 TBS elderflower cordial
Crumble Topping:
175g plain flour
85g butter
50g rolled oats
55g brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Top and tail your gooseberries and place them into a shallow ovenproof glass baking dish. Sprinkle the caster sugar evenly over top and drizzle with the cordial.

Place the flour in a food processor, add the butter, cut into cubes, and then blitz until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the oats, brown sugar and cinnamon and pulse a couple of times until mixed together well. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over top of the berries.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and cooked and the crumble topping is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit before serving.

Serve warm, on it's own or with lashings of custard, pouring cream or a tasty dollop of creme fraiche.


  1. This looks so lovely and good, Marie! Been years since I've eaten gooseberries...not easy to get at the markets here nowadays. Happy Day, dear friend! LOVE YA ((BIG HUGS))

  2. Custard on mine please! Goosegogs up here are rare, unless you pay disgraceful supermarket prices. My sis planted half a dozen bushes but they all came to nothing. Looking out for them in Farmfoods or Iceland.

    love, Angie, xx

  3. Marie, this look absolutely lovely and tasty! Gloria

  4. Thank you for posting this!! I haven't had gooseberries since my nanny took me picking as a child. It's been way too long. I found a 1/2 pint container for sale in the grocery store yesterday and squeeled with delight!! We'll have a tiny crumble for dessert tonight.

  5. How do you tell if a gooseberry is ripe?
    Green or purple? Does it matter?

  6. Gooseberry crumble is the yummiest pud ever especially with hot custard! *salivating at the mere thought. Decision made, I'm gonna make gooseberry crumble for tomorrows evening meal!

  7. Q. What's green and hairy and goes up, down, up, down, up, down etc

    A. A gooseberry in a lift.

    Right, off to make a crumble using this recipe from my disgustingly expensive supermarket berries...yum #worthit

  8. I planted 2 gooseberry bushes in my allotment 3 years ago and have just harvested my first goosegogs from them, now I am off to try this recipe, sounds delicious, and ammhopingnupon hope it tastes delicious, I will come back later and let you know how it turned out. :-)

  9. I planted 2 gooseberry bushes in my allotment 3 years ago and have just harvested my first goosegogs from them, now I am off to try this recipe, sounds delicious, and ammhopingnupon hope it tastes delicious, I will come back later and let you know how it turned out. :-)

  10. Love that you use the word goosegogs - haven't heard that in a while Marie:)

  11. Sorry - I forgot to ask Marie - if I use frozen goosegogs for a crumble can I just place them in the dish like fresh ones or must I defrost them first? Also - should I add less liquid in the form of cordial etc in case they get too sloppy? Thank you!

    1. You can use frozen without thawing first, but yes, decrease the liquid added because they will release a lot. Alternately you could thaw first and drain before using. Hope you enjoy it! xo


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy!

Did you make the recipe as directed? Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.

Is this comment helpful to other readers? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Remember that this website is run by a real person.

Are you here to complain about ads? Please keep in mind that I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising helps to defray my cost of doing so, and allows me to continue to post regular fresh content.

Thanks so much for your understanding! I appreciate you!