Now before we start, let me just clarify something important. I’m cool with sugar, in moderation. I put cream on my strawberries and am just as likely to go for a pudding as a starter. But sometimes it’s nice to have a dessert that’s closer to the five-a-day end of the spectrum. So with that in mind I give you my super-healthy gooseberry and elderflower fool. Honey instead of sugar. Yogurt instead of cream. And still really, creamily delicious.
Gooseberry and elderflower fuse together in a kind of miraculous way. Fragrant, light, sweet, sour – and with the creaminess of the yogurt and the sweetness of the honey they’re pretty much a perfect pudding. Unless there’s some medical reason to use low fat yogurt, I’d go for the full fat or Greek style as you want a contrast to the tartness of the gooseberries. Also it just tastes better that way. It really won’t make a difference to your waistline. If you happen to pass an elder bush and can reach the branches (hey, I’m small, don’t judge me!) then grab some, but elderflower cordial is a great substitute.
I’m lucky enough to have a gooseberry bush and a beehive in my garden, and there’s an elder bush down the lane, so two out of the three ingredients came from my immediate surroundings. I don’t happen to have a handy cow, more’s the pity, so bought the yogurt from the Co-op.
So here’s the magic:
INGREDIENTS (serves 2, generously)
250g gooseberries, trimmed and hulled
2 heads of elderflower (you can use a tablespoon of elderflower cordial instead – just adjust the honey a little)
4 heaped tablespoons yogurt
4 tablespoons honey
Note: you may have to adjust to taste. I used sour cooking gooseberries – if you use dessert gooseberries, which are sweeter, you may need less honey. And if you have a sweet tooth you may need more.
Put gooseberries in a small pan with about 1 tbsp water and the elderflower heads / cordial.
Bring carefully to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes on a low heat until the gooseberries are soft. If it gets dry, add a little water.
Leave to cool.
Remove elderflower heads and add honey and yogurt. If you like a bit of texture, just mash with a fork (as I did) – otherwise whizz in a blender.
Chill and serve.
Let me know how you get on with this if you try it – I’d love to know!