After trip home to the depths of Devon for a friend's lovely, countryside wedding, I headed back to London with a big bag of freshly picked gooseberries. I love gooseberries, but they're pretty hard to come by, so these lovely little things were worthy of a bit of a treat. Gooseberry fool is nice, but gooseberry ice cream is even better! I found this recipe for crunchy almond thins to serve with it, and I'm not entirely sure which the book club girls liked more - a pretty big dent was made in both.
Gooseberry yogurt is also delish, so if you wanted a healthier alternative, you could mix the cooked gooseberries with natural yogurt instead of the custard, then just freeze it in the same way.
Gooseberry ice cream
150g caster sugar
250ml double cream
2 large egg yolks
Take the stalks off the gooseberries, then put them in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of the sugar, and a couple of tablespoons of water (you won't need any water if they're frozen). Cook them over a low heat, with a lid on until they're really soft. Take two good spoonfuls of fruit and put them in a bowl to one side. Push the rest of the fruit through a sieve until you've got all of the juice, and as much flesh as you can, leaving just the pips. Let everything cool.
Meanwhile, make up some custard by gently heating the milk and half of the cream until just below boiling. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until it's all pale and frothy. Pour the cream over the eggs, and whisk together, then return everything to the pan and heat gently until it thickens, stirring constantly. Let this cool too. (To stop a skin forming, lay a piece of clingfilm over the surface of the custard).
When everything's nice and cool, whip the rest of the cream to soft peaks and whisk into the custard with the gooseberry puree, and fold through the unpureed fruit. Churn it in an ice cream maker for 20 minutes or so, or pour it into a container and put it in the freezer until frozen, stirring it well every hour, to break up the ice crystals.