Green Gooseberry and Elderflower Compote
When I'm driving through country lanes in late May or early June, suddenly I spy the elderflower coming into bloom. Then I know it’s time to go and search on gooseberry bushes for the hard, green fruit, far too under-ripe at that stage to eat raw, but wonderful cooked in tarts or fools or in this delicious Compote.
Elderflowers have an extraordinary affinity with greengoose berries and by a happy arrangement of nature they are both in season at the same time.
900g (2lbs) green gooseberries
2 or 3 elderflower heads
600ml (1 pint) cold water
400g (14oz) sugar
First top and tail the gooseberries. Tie 2 or3 elderflower heads in a little square of muslin, put in a stainless steel or enamelled saucepan, add the sugar and cover with cold water. Bring slowly to the boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Add the gooseberries and simmer just until the fruit bursts. Allow to get cold. Serve in a pretty bowl and decorate with fresh elderflowers. Serve with elderflower cream.
N.B. The tart green gooseberries must actually burst otherwise the compote of fruit will be too bitter.
Flavour whipped cream to taste with elderflower cordial.