Friday, 24 July 2009

Valentine Warner's Gooseberry Snow

I don't think I've ever had gooseberries in any other form than gooseberry fool, so I was intrigued to try the recipe for gooseberry snow in Valentine Warner's "What to Eat Now: More Please!". It was a sort of cross between a crumble and a Queen of Puddings, with stewed fruit on the bottom, topped off with a lightly baked meringue.

The first step was to stew up some gooseberries. They were heated with butter and a bit of sugar until they were starting to go mushy, but most of the fruit was still intact. As this bit is to taste, I reckon you could pretty much freestyle it, but I used about 10g of butter, 75g of gooseberries and a good sprinkle of sugar. The recipe made 4 servings, but there was only me, so I made one serving of fruit and two servings of meringue, as I couldn't go smaller than one egg white!

Draining the Gooseberries

Leave the gooseberries to cool while you make the meringue. This was one egg white with 50g sugar and a dash of vanilla essence. Whisk it until it is stiff and shiny, if you tip the bowl upside down it shouldn't fall out! Mix the leftover egg yolk in to the stewed gooseberries (make sure they are cool enough so the yolk won't scramble).

Pour the gooseberry mixture into a greased ramekin or oven-proof dish, and spoon a good amount of meringue on top. Bake at 190C for 10-15 minutes.

I was very generous with the meringue.

I went for 15 minutes in the oven, although 12 would probably have been better. The meringue was a little too brown, with the occasional burnt patch.

Gooseberry Snow

Luckily, this didn't affect the taste too much, with only the top peak tasting "burnt" rather than caramelised. The sweet meringue was foamy and fluffy, and was offset nicely by the tart fruit. The fruit stew at the bottom was possibly one of the most delicious things I have eaten lately, and I rescued the saucepan from the washing up pile so I could have a couple more mouthfuls of the stuff! The addition of the egg yolk made the sauce surrounding the fruit transform in to a thin custard, with just the right amount of richness.

I'm still not convinced by meringue topping, so I don't think this dish will become a regular round here. However, I'll definitely be making the stewed gooseberries again, and probably just eating it straight out the pan too.

EDIT: The original recipe is now online for those of you fed up with my vague description!


ceilithe said...

Looks delish -- even the burnt parts! If gooseberries (imported, as they don't grow here in Texas) didn't cost an arm and a leg, I'd give this a shot. Thanks for making me drool :)

Libby Murphy said...

Oh I love gooseberries and have ordered a couple of plants for the yard. I've had the jam and a sauce on chicken which was delicious. I bet this snow is delicious.
Happy Twirls

Jenny said...

I still have quite a few in the freezer, and the savoury sauce for chicken sounds interesting indeed!