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Posts tagged ‘gooseberries’

Gooseberry and Red Currant Popsicles And More Popsicles

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Have I gone gooseberry crazy? It’s all together possible!  Wasting food is abhorent to me and I wanted to make sure I used every single gooseberry and currant that I bought. Besides the crumble which is pretty standard fare I wanted to do something a little bit different with them. Since it’s so hot out I decided that popsicles would be the way to go, icy and cold and delicious a great way to beat the heat and use up my berries. In making the popsicles I discovered the real flavor of the gooseberry, there is a lovely floral note and when cooked with some sugar and water, it really brings out the flavor. It reminds me a little of elderflower. The popsicles are a mix of green and purple gooseberries and at the end after straining the pulp I added the red currants distributing into a half frozen popsicle. Don’t throw that pulp away, it’s really delicious with just a couple of tablespoons of the syrup to loosen it up, it makes a delicious preserve or jam on biscuits, scones or toast.  FYI, the gooseberries and currants are labor intensive to clean and de stem, kind of like pitting cherries. Each gooseberry needs to be clipped on each and end and the currants are very tiny and each individual currant needs to be picked off of the stems. Labor intensive but worth the effort.

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Gooseberry and Red Currant Popsicles

Makes 8 popsicles

1 pint gooseberries (approx)clipped

1-1 1/4 cups sugar (You can add less if using the sweeter gooseberry, I mixed them and they were very sour)

1 1/4 cup water

1/3 (approx) cup red currants

Put the gooseberries, sugar and water in a pot. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until the berries pop open. Strain into heat proof bowl or cup.  Immediatly add the currants and let them sit until it cools then refrigerate.

I decided to add some red currents that would be suspended inside the popsicle. The currants float in the liquid so in order to ensure that they are dispersed within the pop I partially froze it. a couple of hours in the freezer without the stick inserted, the mixture is not frozen solid just slushy, you then place some currants in and spread them around with a skewer, insert the sticks and put back in the freezer.

So pretty

We are smack dab in the middle of a heat wave with temperatures soaring to almost 100 degree’s and thats not the heat index. I so love my popsicle mold I have been making popsicles all the time, they are stockpiled in my freezer. I really love experimenting, in the summer lemonade and iced tea are favorite drinks that I almost always keep in the refrigerator. So I thought I would make both into popsicles. Sweet tea with mint and lemonade with raspberries. Ice cold and portable these popsicles are wonderful. All you need to do is make lemonade and iced tea, no recipe required. When the popsicles were partially frozen after 2 hours in the freezer I added some raspberries to the lemonade and mint leaves to the sweet tea. I ran out of lemonade so made one Arnold Palmer popsicle, half lemonade and half tea.

sweet tea and lemonade raspberry popsicles

sweet tea and lemonade raspberry popsicles

All of these frozen treats are coming with me to Angie’s for Fiesta Friday #129. Got my ice chest ready and I will rush over so they don’t melt. This week’s co hosts are Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Colleen @ Faith, Hope, Love & Luck. See you all at the party!

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A Non Traditional Panzanella, A Gooseberry Red Currant And Plum Crumble And Salsa

Salad

Salad

The first thing that I made with my Farmers Market finds is a salad. There is nothing like a salad made with fresh vegetables. There is no recipe for this, it’s a salad after all and everyone has their own favorite way of making and dressing them, this is sort of a panzanella,  sort of because it’s not traditional. A traditional Tuscan panzanella is made with tomatoes and stale bread dressed with olive oil and vinegar. I spread pesto on the bread and put it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown. Saturday’s farmers market find included both cherry and regular size tomatoes, for a salad cherry tomatoes are so easy and I love how crisp and sweet they are.

Panzanella

tomato

cucumber

spring onion

bread

pesto

shaved pecorino romano

salt and pepper

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, slice the onion very thinly, cut the cucumber into small pieces and throw it all in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.  Spread some pesto on the bread and either broil or grill until lightly browned. Cut into bite size pieces. Dress the salad with vinegar and oil. I don’t measure starting out light and adding more as/if needed. Add the bread and toss it together. Shave pecorino romano cheese on top and enjoy.

crumble

crumble

Today I experimented with some of the gooseberries. Having never eaten them or cooked with them I didn’t really know what to expect,  For the first attempt I thought a crumble would be nice and only made two individual servings in my tiny cocotte pans. I chose purple gooseberries, red currants and a golden plum. The fruit when baked produced a lot of juice and was very tart, next time I would probably add another 2 tbs of sugar although the tart fruit when eaten with some vanilla ice cream was really nice. For the crumble top I used spelt, oat and AP flour in equal parts added some butter and brown sugar. Before baking I dotted with a little butter and sprinkled with demerara sugar.  I thought adding a plum would be nice with the gooseberries and currants, somewhere in my research I saw that the gooseberry is a member of the plum family or vice versa, not sure thats correct but they do go together nicely.

Gooseberry,red currant and plum crumble

serves 2

Crumble

1/4 cup spelt flour

1/4 cup oat flour or oats

1/4 cup AP flour

1/4 cup dark brown sugar (not packed)

4 tbs butter+ more to dot on top before baking

whisk the flour and brown sugar together add the butter and mix with your hands until it resembles pea size crumbs.

Fruit

red currants

purple gooseberries

1 golden plum

1/4-1/2 cup sugar

I didn’t measure the berries if I had to guess how much it was about 1/3 cup of each. Put all the fruit into a bowl and add the sugar, toss to combine. Spoon into baking dishes and top with the crumble topping. Dot with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degree’s for approximately 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream.

Warm crumble with vanilla ice cream

Warm crumble with vanilla ice cream

There are a few more recipes I plan on making with the gooseberries and will post them very soon, it’s fun working with an ingredient you are not familiar with getting your sea legs so to speak. The crumble was delicious the combination of gooseberries, currants and plum created a lot of juice and some of the crumble sank creating what was more akin to a cobbler. It was really good this turned out to be a cobbler/crumble.

Salsa

Salsa

The green gooseberries are very tart, sour really and using them in a savory dish seemed like it would be delicious. I had a flounder filet earmarked for dinner the other night and thought instead of a heavy tartar sauce (love it) a light fruity salsa would be nice with the fish. I didn’t measure, don’t need to with this type of dish, the beauty of it is that it is tailored to suite the individual’s taste.

Salsa

makes approximate a cup of salsa

Green gooseberries (larger ones cut in half and quartered and small ones cut in half)]

1/2 mango- chopped

1 purple spring onion- chopped

approx a tbs of chopped fresh mint

1 jalapeno chopped and seeds removed

1 small orange bell pepper chopped

approx a tbs of chopped flat leaf parsley

juice of one whole lime

salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients, serve right away.

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