Gooseberries are big in Europe. The American gooseberry range in color from light green/yellow to pink to red – wine at peak ripeness and are quite thorny bushes. The berries can be furry with little spikes at its base with a fruity floral scent. They have a translucent, zebra pattern, and marble like skin. The green berries are best suited for cooking with sugar at a ratio of ½ cup of fruit to 1 tablespoon of sugar. To prepare gooseberries, cut the tops and stems with kitchen scissors or a paring knife. The berries can be used in chutneys, jams, preserves and when softened can accompany chicken, game, fish as a fruit sauce and are wonderful in sweet confections like crisps, crumbles, fools, tea cakes, and cookies. Hurry and find some at the farmers market or be lucky enough to find a bush in a random park. Elderberry is a terrific complimentary flavor for the rare gooseberry and so is rhubarb. 

Rhubarb is usually paired with strawberries. Since it is rare and is a joyful spring and summer vegetable that is traditionally used as a fruit we decided to mix them with the even rarer gooseberry.  These ruby red stalks taste best stewed down in pies, cakes, relishes, and muffins.

 

2 cups gooseberries
15 rhubarb stalks
8 tablespoons sugar
4-5 tablespoons elderflower liquor

For the crumble
1 cup butter, straight from the fridge
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole oatmeal
pinch of salt

Pre -heat the oven to 350. Wash and trim the gooseberries and rhubarb. Cut the rhubarb into chunks. Place the fruit in a small casserole dish and pour in the elderflower liquor, if using. Mix in the sugar. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Mix the crumble ingredients until you have a crumb-like consistency. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top of the fruit. The layer of crumble should not be too thick, otherwise the rhubarb won’t be able to bubble through and make it really yummy. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until the crumble topping is firm and golden. Serve warm with your favorite vanilla, strawberry, or rhubarb ice cream.