I think gooseberries can be a bit daunting. They are all hairy and a bit weird looking when raw, not to mention sour. But add a bit of sugar, cook them for a while and they are gorgeous. I tend to treat them like rhubarb, and my favourite thing to make with rhubarb is a crumble cake.
Crumble cakes (or coffee cakes as they are known in the USA, though they have no coffee) are impressive looking and tasting but really easy to make as they just combine two very basic recipes. They work particularly well with rhubarb and gooseberries as the double blanket of sugariness, batter and crumble, will make sure your fruit isn’t too tart.
I have previously made a rhubarb crumble cake (with a really bad photograph) but it was huge so I have dialled back the quantities a bit to make a slightly smaller cake. This is still a generous cake so will serve 6 people easily!
I made this cake with lots of vanilla and swapped half the flour for ground almonds to add more taste to the cake part. The crumble top was the basic equal parts of sugar, flour and butter mixture, and I sprinkled some more ground almonds on before baking which made the top extra crunchy.
The gooseberries are prepared very simply, I just topped and tailed them and sprinkled them with sugar.
Gooseberry Crumble Cake
Makes one 9 inch round cake
For the cake:
100g of softened salted butter
50g of ground almonds
50g of flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla paste or equal of vanilla extract
Splash of milk.
125g fresh gooseberries
Cream your sugar and butter together until nice and fluffy, then add the eggs in one by one and mix together after adding each. Then put your vanilla in and then fold in the almonds and flour. Mix to combine and then add a small splash of milk to loosen the mixture.
Pour into a greased and linked cake in.
Preheat your oven whilst you prepare the crumble and fruit. 170c / gas mark 4
Top and tail your gooseberries. Cut the bigger ones in half but leave the smaller ones whole. Arrange on top of the cake batter and sprinkle with tablespoon of sugar.
For the crumble top:
Sprinkle of ground almonds
Rub together your butter and flour til it resembles breadcrumbs, and then add in your sugar. Sprinkle over the gooseberries, make sure they are fairly well covered but it doesn’t matter if they are peeking out a bit. Sprinkle over the almonds.
Bake in the oven for about 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown on top. It can be hard to tell if is done as the knife won’t come out clean, as long as it is cooked at a low temperature on a middle shelf it won’t burn.
Leave to cool, the cake will sink slightly. If you take it out the tin whilst it is warm it will collapse.
Slice and serve with custard, it is good with custard!
My gooseberries were from Walden Local Food, if you are nearby you must go and visit their market stall on a Saturday. I also came away with some fabulous plum tomatoes and some tender new season kale.