A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Gooseberry Fool

PERIOD: Modern | SOURCE: Contemporary Recipe | CLASS: Not Authentic

DESCRIPTION: A 15th century blend of gooseberries, cream, & sugar

  • 1 lb. gooseberries
  • 1 oz. butter
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
Pinch the ends off the gooseberries. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and add the gooseberries and sugar. Cover the saucepan and cook over the lowest heat possible until the gooseberries are soft and mushy (approx. ½ hour).

Remove the gooseberries from the pan and beat them to a pulp with a wooden spoon. Pass them through a sieve and discard the skins and pips. At this point you should taste the gooseberries and if they are too tart add a little more sugar. Set them aside and allow to cool completely.

Whip the cream and fold it gently into the gooseberry pulp. Pour the fool into a glass serving dish or, if you prefer, divide it equally into small sherbet glasses. Chill for at least one hour before serving.

Gooseberry Fool is believed to date back to the 15th century. If no gooseberries are available, rhubarb, fresh cranberries or red currants all make good substitutes as they have the same kind of sharp, tart flavor that is absolutely essential of a good fool.

Garmey, Jane. Great British Cooking: A Well Kept Secret. New York: Random House, 1981.

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Gooseberry Fool © James L. Matterer

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