Green Gooseberry and Elderflower Compote


Prep Time: 



  • 6 - 8 People


 900g (2lbs) green gooseberries

2 or 3 elderflower heads

600ml (1 pint) cold water

450g (1lb) sugar


Recipe from Ballymaloe Cookery School When I'm driving through country lanes in late May or early June, suddenly I spy the elderflower coming into bloom.  Then I know its time to go and search on gooseberry bushes for the hard, green fruit, far too under-ripe at that stage to eat raw, but wonderful cooked in tarts or fools or in this delicious Compote. Elderflowers have an extraordinary affinity with green gooseberries and by a happy arrangement of nature they are both in season at the same time.   

First top and tail the gooseberries.  
Tie 2 or 3 elderflower heads in a little square of muslin, put in a stainless steel or enamelled saucepan, add the sugar and cover with cold water.  
Bring slowly to the boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes.  
Add the gooseberries and simmer just until the fruit bursts.  
Allow to get cold.  
Serve in a pretty bowl and decorate with fresh elderflowers.  

Serve with elderflower cream (see below). 

N.B.  The tart green gooseberries must actually burst otherwise the compote of fruit will be too bitter.  

Elderflower Cream
Flavour whipped cream to taste with elderflower cordial.

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