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Berry Bliss

Posted Aug 13 2010 12:00am
OK, so everyone else seems to have blog these days so I thought I’d start one, mainly about cake as I’m a bit obsessed with it, that’s an understatement I’m totally obsessed with it. I was thinking this blog might be a good way to share some recipes and other bits and bobs.

Gooseberries have gone out of fashion, mainly due to the popularity of the American Blueberry. Hopefully it’s due a revival soon. The perfect gooseberry is juicy, tart, full flavored and perfect in the summer months.

Lush green gooseberries from my garden
Yummy red berries 

Gooseberry season is short but produces two amazing variations, a green gooseberry at the start and later a red gooseberry. I’ve loved using the green ones over the years to make jams, the green gooseberry is a little more tart so normally wouldn’t be eaten raw. Traditional in Britain the green berry has been poach with a small amount of water and sugar and served with mackerel doesn’t sound that tasty to me. A long time before this it was a medicinal marvel used to treat fevers. The Indian gooseberry is still used medical to this day. The red gooseberry is often referred to as the dessert berry they are uber sweet, so can either be eaten raw, popped in a fruit salad or used for cakes.

This humble berry is a great source of fiber Vitamins A and C. If you don’t have room to grow them on your own, you’ll be able to find them in greengrocers or independent food stores, they some times appear in supermarkets but rarely these days. If you do find them in supermarket the chances are they will be labeled as fee berries there traditional English name.

Early in the season round June you’ll find the smallish green ones make sure they feel super firm – they’ll keep for up to two weeks in the fridge if there firm. Near the end of July red gooseberries will start to appear, colors vary from a dark pinot red to a yellow gold look for plump ones with a slightly grapy feel. Red berry doesn’t hold up to well they last about two to three days in the fridge. Both berries freeze well.

The recipe below is for a cheesecake that is totally yummalicious; I made it for potluck last week. I added some mixed spice cookies to the crust mix but it works either way. The cheesecake filling also makes a great mousse 


Crust
2 cups of pecans
½ cup of pinhead oatmeal
12 dates pitted
2 cookies (optional)

Grind ingredients in a food processor. You may need to add a small amount of water to the crust mixture. Press the crust into either an 8 inch spring form pan or pan of your choice.

Gooseberry filling
6 cups of red gooseberries
3 cups of cashews
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of coconut oil
1 cup of agave
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons of mixed spice
2 tablespoons of lecithin

In a high speed blender blend all the gooseberries (I don’t top and tail mine some people like to but I don’t really see the need when your using a high speed) After the gooseberries are blended pop everything else in blend until creamy smooth.

Transfer the mixture to the pan. Allow to chill in the fridge until firm – normally takes about two hours.




To use the gooseberry filling as a moose reduce the lecithin to 1 tablespoon and pour into clear glasses. The filling should make 6 small mousse

Gooseberry Jam

Raw jam is the easiest thing in the world to make and so much better than jams bought in the store as they don’t contain sugar

3 cups of gooseberries
1 cup Medjool dates (pitted)

Blend both ingredients in a high speed blender for a smooth jam or in food processor for a slightly more chunky jam. It only keeps a couple of days in the fridge its best to make fresh when you need it.




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