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Gooseberry crumble

About this recipe: Crumbles are always a family favourite and gooseberries are one of the best fruit choices, as their slight tartness partners particularly well with a sweet crumble topping. Here, the flavour of the gooseberries is enhanced with fragrant elderflower cordial and fresh mint, and the crumble topping has oats, hazelnuts and wheatgerm added.

Norma MacMillan

Ingredients
Serves: 6 

  • 1 kg (2¼ lb) gooseberries, topped and tailed
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp elderflower cordial
  • 50 g (1¾ oz) caster sugar, or to taste
  • Crumble topping
  • 55 g (2 oz) plain white flour
  • 30 g (1 oz) plain wholemeal flour
  • 55 g (2 oz) cool unsalted butter, diced
  • 55 g (2 oz) light soft brown sugar
  • 30 g (1 oz) jumbo oats
  • 30 g (1 oz) hazelnuts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp wheatgerm
  • Fresh custard, to serve (optional)

Method
Prep:25min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:50min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Put the gooseberries in a saucepan with the mint sprigs and elderflower cordial. Cover and cook over a very low heat for 8–10 minutes or until the gooseberries start to soften and release their juices.
  2. Stir in the caster sugar until it has dissolved, then transfer to a deep 1.7 litre (3 pint) baking dish, discarding the mint sprigs.
  3. Sift the white and wholemeal flours into a mixing bowl, tipping in the bran left in the sieve. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, oats, hazelnuts and wheatgerm. Sprinkle over 1 tbsp cold water and mix in to make a rough crumbly mixture. Spoon the topping evenly over the fruit.
  4. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the fruit filling bubbling. Serve hot or warm, with custard, if liked.

Each serving provides

C, E * A, B1, calcium, copper, iron, potassium, zinc

Some more ideas

For a rhubarb and ginger crumble, cut 1 kg (2¼ lb) rhubarb into 2.5 cm (1 in) lengths and place in a wide, shallow saucepan with 4 tbsp ginger syrup from a jar of stem ginger. Cover and cook gently for 5–6 minutes or until the juices run and the rhubarb is just beginning to soften. Lift out the rhubarb with a draining spoon into the baking dish, leaving the juice in the pan. Sprinkle 45 g (1½ oz) light soft brown sugar over the rhubarb. Simmer the juices for 3–4 minutes or until reduced to about 4 tbsp. Drizzle over the rhubarb. Make the crumble topping with the flours and butter, but add 115 g (4 oz) sweetened muesli instead of the sugar, oats, hazelnuts and wheatgerm. Sprinkle over the fruit and bake as in the main recipe. * To make a cinnamon plum crumble, quarter and stone 1 kg (2¼ lb) ripe plums and toss with 75 g (2½ oz) demerara sugar and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Use the crumble topping in the main recipe or the muesli variation above.

Plus points

This crumble has a lower proportion of fat than the traditional recipe; the crumbly texture is achieved by stirring in a little water. The water evaporates during cooking to give a deliciously crunchy texture. * Gooseberries are an excellent source of vitamin C. Their high acid content protects the vitamin C, so little is lost during cooking. * Mint has been used since Biblical times to relieve indigestion. Peppermint tea is still a favourite of many to relieve hiccups and nausea.

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