Gooseberry fool

1 hour 15 minutes


Gooseberry fool

  • 400g of gooseberries, topped and tailed
  • 70g of caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp extra set aside
  • 200ml of double cream
  • icing sugar, to serve
  • 1 sprig of mint, to serve


  • 250g of unsalted butter, softened
  • 120g of caster sugar, plus 1 heaped tbsp for dusting
  • 90g of ground rice, or polenta
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 370g of plain flour, salted


First, make the shortbread by beating the butter until soft. Gently fold in the sugar, ground rice and salt and mix until combined
Add the sifted flour, combining lightly but firmly until the mixture comes together. The mix will still be quite dry and crumbly
Line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper and tip the mixture into the tin. Press the dough down gently with your fingers so that it is even. Place in the fridge for an hour
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3
Remove the shortbread dough from the fridge, sprinkle the tablespoon of sugar over the top and press down gently
Place in the oven and bake for 50–60 minutes until the shortbread is a pale golden colour
Leave the shortbread to cool for 10 minutes, then slice into fingers in the tin. Decorate the top by pricking with a fork if you wish. Let the shortbread cool completely before removing from the tin
Meanwhile, place the gooseberries and 70g of the sugar in a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Simmer gently until the gooseberries start to soften and break down, which should take around 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar to the cream and lightly whip until thickened, but not too stiff
Lightly mash the cooled gooseberries, leaving some intact, and swirl through the cream with a metal spoon. Spoon the fool into 4 glasses and chill until ready to serve
Add a sprig of mint and a dusting of icing sugar if you wish and serve the fool with shortbread fingers