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Gooseberry Fool


2 lb gooseberries
- pint water
3-4 elderflower heads
Caster sugar (to taste)
pint double cream
Sponge fingers, or crisp biscuits

For thick custard

1 dessertspoon custard powder, or 3 egg yolks and 1 teaspoon arrowroot
pint milk


Top and tail and wash the gooseberries, put them into a pan with the water. Tie the elderflowers in a small piece of muslin, add this to the pan and cover it. Simmer until the fruit is soft, then take out the elder­flowers, drain off juice, reserve.

To make custard: cream egg yolks and arrowroot in a bowl, heat milk to just below boiling point and pour on gradually. Blend and strain back into unused pan. Stir gently over low heat until mixture thickens. If using custard powder, follow instructions on packet. Set aside to cool.

Rub the fruit through a nylon sieve or pass through a fine Mouli sieve. Measure this purée, which should be about 1 pint (make up with juice, if not), sweeten to taste and, when quite cold, mix with the custard. Half whip the cream and fold it into the custard mixture, leaving the fool slightly 'marbled' with the cream. Serve in glasses or in a bowl, with sponge fingers or crisp biscuits.

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