Gooseberry and Elderflower Ice-cream

29 June 2006

We’ve got a lovely neighbour friend who brings us all sorts of home-grown fruit and vegetables from time to time – he has had an allotment for about 5-6 years and since we moved here we enjoy paying it a visit to see what’s growing.

I took some pictures last time I went there – it looks lovely now everything is in bloom. We’ve been getting a steady supply of asparagus and strawberries recently, and I had my eye on some broad beans (I love them), peas, tomatoes, potatoes, more berries, (and quite a few apples in the autumn) which are all on their way :) The funny thing is that he loves growing things but doesn’t like eating some of them – I thought he was missing the point when he said that, but now I understand that it’s just another way of enjoying produce (not everyone is greedy like me).

He has kindly offered some space for me to grow something in there – I’d love to, definitely, but I’ve been lazy and so far just asked him to grow stuff for me. I started growing red/black currants this year (in my garden), they are still small trees but I’m already looking forward to trying them out. I’m definitely warming to the idea of growing my own food…

By the way, we found two rabbits dumped in a box in his allotment the other week – luckily we managed to get the RSPCA to catch them and they are now looking for a new home (we got our cat from here by the way). British people are known as real animal lovers – they are indeed, and I admire the dedication of those who rescue and look after animals – but it’s sad that this kind of thing happens quite often.

Anyway, fruit and veg. We got some super fresh gooseberries delivered to our door the other day. The most common way to serve these is making a fool (not that fool), although I saw a recipe using them with mackerel, it sounds lovely – and you always cook them, I tried eating one raw, it was super tart!

I’ve actually wanted to make this ice-cream since last year – but I missed the elderflower season then (I made cordial with elderberries, but didn’t really like it) and so had to wait until now. You can find gooseberries at markets although the season is very short, so I’m lucky to have them locally (literally a few hundred metres away).

Having learnt from last year, I had my elderflower cordial ready before the gooseberries were ripe :) I’ve been using this recipe, with a little less lemon and sugar. I like adding some used vanilla pods which have been kept in a sugar jar (I reckon fresh pods would be too strong).

For the ice-cream, I found a recipe on Delia Smith’s site – according to her ‘it is unbelievably good’, so of course I couldn’t resist :) I found another recipe in Nigella Lawson’s book – but her recipe uses whole berries without sieving them, and I wasn’t sure about that, so decided to stick to Delia’s one. Nothing complicated involved, you just need to make custard, add the cooked gooseberry puree and elderflower cordial, then churn in a machine.

When I was cooking the berries, the kitchen was filled with a smell of ‘greenery’ and I was a little anxious as to whether I would get any fruitiness from them, but the finished ice-cream was lovely – I wouldn’t say ‘unbelievably good’ but it’s definitely a taste of the British summer :) The tangy berry flavour and subtle ‘flowerness’ work really well with the custard, and makes you feel nostalgic (again, I’ve never had this ice-cream before, but for some reason, it just does).

I’m aware that I’ve been posting rather a lot of ice-cream recipes – I can’t help it, I love it so much :) Our machine, which was one of our best wedding gifts, has been working hard for six years without a single complaint – I must churn at least twice a week, but the results don’t last very long as you can imagine :)


Food - Sweet        41 comments    Permalink

  • How lucky you are to have such a nice neighbor with home grown goodies to share! And your own red/black currants soon too! And last but definitely not least...that lovely ice cream machine! I just got married and nary an ice cream machine in sight, hehe, but your fantastic photos and yummy descriptions are tempting me to buy my own! :)

    Posted by joey | 29 June 2006 #
  • Never seen gooseberry captured this beautifully. Elderflower ice-cream ? Wow ! You come up with the most unusual recipes.

    Posted by Krithika | 29 June 2006 #
  • miam miam ....suche nice photos !

    Posted by mercotte | 29 June 2006 #
  • Wow Keiko, that sounds amazing. I have no idea where to purchase either gooseberries or elderflowers but I have a feeling I’m going to start looking. And of course, I thoroughly enjoy these photographs!

    Posted by Kevin | 29 June 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko, what a beautiful post full of gorgeous pictures.

    I have never tasted gooseberries but they look so good to me! I have to find them somewhere...

    Posted by fanny | 29 June 2006 #
  • First to see those beauties, especially the gooseberry ones. Looks delicious.

    Posted by bonheursdesophie | 29 June 2006 #
  • hi keiko, so beautiful - i almost swooned scrolling down and admiring your divine pictures...they truly do capture the essence of an english summer, euphemeral and precious as it is :) the g.g. is a true champ! - i like to think of it as the not-so-little ice cream robot - i haven’t had it for very long, so it’s wonderfully reassuring to know it will last the distance even when worked real hard ;)

    Posted by Joycelyn | 29 June 2006 #
  • How fascinating, Keiko! Gooseberry and elderflowers make such an exotic-flavored ice cream. I wish I could have a taste! Anyway, I have an ice cream maker too and my ultimate favorite to make is green tea ice cream *Yum* I’m already starting to get hungry thinking about it. I think I’ll go home and make some ice cream. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Posted by maria~ | 29 June 2006 #
  • Gorgeous photography as always, Keiko--and tis the season for ice cream! I love how adventurous you are in making all sorts of flavors and such. Keep em’ comin’! :)

    Posted by Mindy | 29 June 2006 #
  • very beautiful photos!

    Posted by Kat | 30 June 2006 #
  • It sounds so very English Keiko. Gorgeous photos.

    Posted by Barbara | 30 June 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    Beautiful photos as always. I wish gooseberries were available in Turkey... I first heard about these berries in one of Hyacinth Bucket episodes where she purchased tons of gooseberry wine to impress someone important. Always wondered what they looked like.



    Posted by Cenk | 30 June 2006 #
  • hi Keiko, I just wanted to say that I, too, am in awe of your photography... stunning and inspirational! And until I get an ice-cream machine, I will enjoy a rainbow of flavours vicariously through you!

    Posted by gilly | 30 June 2006 #
  • Keiko,

    Wonderful photos. If you do not mind me asking, what camera and any special lighting equipment do you use ?

    I am searching a good camera to do close up shots.


    Posted by Coco | 30 June 2006 #
  • Sounds delicious!!

    Posted by Pamela | 30 June 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko, I was looking for an ice-cream maker today :) Yours is very good but, I am not a pro:) I will buy something that I can stick to frigde, they are quite cheap and our frige is HUGE :) Like you, I am a huge fan of ice cream as well. The best ones are the nutty ones I think. Actually there is no limitations when you are talking about ice cream, is there? By the way pictures are gorgeouuuusss ;)

    Posted by Zeynep Seda | 30 June 2006 #
  • Recently made my elderflower cordial too but haven’t tried it with used vanilla pods - not sure whether it would spoil the simple taste too much for me, will give it a go though - I assume you put it in from the start?

    Posted by Sheelagh | 30 June 2006 #
  • "Unbelievably good" & unbelievably beautiful !

    Posted by Camille | 30 June 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko, Oh, I love this post. I wouldn’t know where to buy gooseberries around where I live. YOu made me feel tempted. I love unusual combinations and this one is just fabulous.

    Posted by Valentina | 1 July 2006 #
  • Photos are incredible!

    Posted by Tanna | 1 July 2006 #
  • Wow! what a lovely garden your neighbor has, and it’s great that you get a chance to grow your own food, if you’ll have more time ;-) Beautiful shots, and I love the green hue of the fruits. Yum, I want your ice-cream...I finally found a homemade ice cream parlor that’s the best in Old Town of Antibes, but he doesn’t have this flavor you’re making...

    Posted by Maya | 1 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko!All is beautiful as usual!I saw the same gooseberries last week here,so I think I’m going to buy it because now I know What to do with,thank you so much for this beautiful post!

    Posted by moony | 1 July 2006 #
  • Keiko you are so lucky with all the free fresh produce!! The ice cream looks tempting. Wish we have more land in Singapore to do that. My dream one day is to cook from produce of my own veg and fruit farm, in a backyard of a big house with a perfect kitchen.....

    Posted by steffles | 2 July 2006 #
  • hi, keiko-sann!!



    Posted by akane:rgb~nanairo-nianco | 2 July 2006 #
  • what a beautiful shot of gooseberries, made me want to reach out and bite into one (even if it’s going to be tart), and elderflower ice-cream... my, both of these items sound so exotic, especially considering where I stay!

    Posted by eatzycath | 2 July 2006 #
  • Wonderful pictures. The first one (gooseberry) is amazing ! It’s not easy to fond gooseberry

    Posted by Papilles et Pupilles | 2 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko Thanks for visiting my blog! I really enjoy reading your blog too! :) And the pics are great! Do you take them yourself?

    Posted by Soo | 2 July 2006 #
  • Wonderful photography as always:-) I’ve never had an elderberry, is there any other fruit you could liken it to that would give me an idea of the flavor?

    Posted by Amanda | 2 July 2006 #
  • Yikes, dumping bunnies in someone’s garden is biological vandalism! What the HECK were they thinking? They surely had no respect for the gardeners.

    Glad you all were able to get them into safe hands.

    Stunning macros! Thanks for sharing.


    Posted by Nika | 2 July 2006 #
  • Dear friend!!! :)

    Lovely, georgeous,sweety post!!!

    Tatina love it... and ice cream too...

    A hug for you from her.. and a lot of kisses from me!!



    Posted by Sandra | 2 July 2006 #
  • Like you I find gooseberries to be incredibly tart, but my wife who is from Eastern Europe insists they are always picked when unripe, because when fully ripe they are too difficult to handle. Unfortunately they don’t ripen further once picked. There are some good bottled brands about, and we have enjoyed them as a dessert just with some whipped cream.

    Posted by tankeduptaco | 3 July 2006 #
  • wow! home grown & freshly picked. that’s the best stuffs in the world. i like eldlerflower cordial, we don’t have these flowers here, fortunately the cordial is available from IKEA. interesting that the gooseberries were picked while green. the ones that (mostly from china or thailand) were sold here are usually ripen to nice light orangy color. definitely sweet & none of the tartness.

    Posted by Slurp! | 3 July 2006 #
  • Hi there, thanks so much for all your kind notes.

    Joey - congratulations again, you must have more on your mind than an ice-cream machine (or anything else) now :) looking forward to hearing more about your new life!

    Krithika - unusual and yummy...

    Kevin - hope you can find them somewhere near you.

    Joycelyn - g.g. is great ;) I’m looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful creations with it.

    Maria - What flavour did you go for this time? :) I’ve been meaning to post a matcha ice-cream recipe, hopefully soon...

    Cenk - I haven’t seen Hyacinth Bucket, hopefully I’ll have a chance to watch it some time.

    Coco - I use a Canon 350D (Rebel XT in the States) and don’t have any lighting equipment or a macro lens - I normally use a 50mm for shooting food.

    Zeynep Seda - the one where you keep the bowl in the freezer is absolutely fine, especially when you have a huge freezer like you do :) You’ve made me want to make nutty ones now, you’re right, there are no limitations!

    Sheelagh - I used one pod for this recipe, it’s very subtle and you might not even notice - I added it with the lemons.

    Valentina - I’ve seen some at Waitrose, if you can’t find them at markets.

    Maya - I’m already looking forward to trying the ice-cream shop in Antibes...

    Moony - hope you’ll enjoy it!

    Steffles - oh that’s my dream too...

    Eatzycath - I see lots of exotic things on your site which make me want to try them every time :)

    Papilles et Pupilles - hope you can find them!

    Soo - yes, I do :)

    Amanda - I can’t remember very well, but it had quite a strong, distinctive flavour...

    Nika - it was really sad, but hopefully they’ll find a new *better* home soon.

    Sandra - send her lots of hugs from me.

    Tankeduptaco - thanks for your info, I guess the bottled ones are cooked?

    Slurp - I’d like to try ripe ones too, didn’t know you could get the cordial at IKEA, must check it out next time I go :)

    Posted by keiko | 4 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko

    It’s first time writing a message to you. I’ve been checking your site since I found it and it’s always pleasuable to see your beautiful photos! I’ve been living in the UK for 8 years and now in East Yorkshire (used to live in London). We both live in a countryside (Suffork is fab), don’t we? It’s fantastic season (and the weather) for local produce too!

    Posted by Seiko | 4 July 2006 #
  • I adore gooseberries, we have several bushes in several varieties, however I’ve never made icecream with them... oh how I miss summer!

    Beautifully stunning post as always.

    Posted by Bron | 5 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    God! Those berries look awfully delicious!..I know for sure that any fruits and veggies in the UK taste so sweet and nice. Just go crazy over the tomatoes. Keep posting beautifull pictures k. Just love your blog!

    Posted by ThyCountess | 5 July 2006 #
  • Waow!!! this is a really beautiful blog! The deep colours of the pictures, the originality of the recipes,etc... It’s a real pleasure to watch and to read! (But in Luxembourg we still have to wait hum... one month (more ore less) before eating the first gooseberries ;-) OK, maybe in Paris I can try to find some, but elderflower...

    Posted by Stéphane | 5 July 2006 #
  • hello from lipari cant help eating gelato here

    but i miss english summers too cordials, berries, clotted cream

    Posted by sha | 6 July 2006 #
  • Hi Keiko,

    Stunning photos and thank you for sharing them.

    I have never had/seen gooseberry or elder flower before. Don’t even know where to look for them in Melbourne. But at least now I know what they look like :)

    Posted by ilingc | 6 July 2006 #
  • Hi there, thanks so much again for all your kind notes, apologies for taking for so long to get back.

    Seiko-san - thank you for your kind words. I’ve been here for almost 7 years and used to live in London so we must feel similar about life in the UK :) I’m afraid I’ve only passed East Yorkshire on the way to Scotland - I know it’s a beautiful place and I’d like to visit some time. Please let me know when you come down to East Anglia or London, it would be lovely to meet up :)

    Bron - hope you can try it out next summer :)

    ThyCountess - we’re lucky to have such a nice friend, you can’t beat freshly picked veg, it’s absolutely delicious :)

    Stephane - we’ve visited Luxembourg a couple of times (by motorbike ;)), it’s such a pretty place and we enjoyed riding all over the country.

    Shalimar - hope you’re having a great journey, take care and looking forward to hearing about it.

    Illingc - hope you can try them one day :)

    Posted by keiko | 19 July 2006 #
  • please help me locate the actual flower you can eat ELDERFLOWERS

    Posted by sam | 11 July 2010 #

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