If you're looking for a traditional fruity pudding that's also a bit lighter and healthier you will love this gooseberry cobbler recipe. It's lower in sugar than lots of hot puddings and a great dessert for when gooseberries are in season.
I grew up on a farm and each year in summer my dad would pick lots of the gooseberries that grew in the hedgerows. My mum would then turn these sour little fruits into delicious pies, crumbles and sponge puddings.
After I moved away from home I didn't eat gooseberries for a long time but last year I picked some at our local pick your own farm, Garsons. It was lovely to taste the flavours of my childhood again, but the gooseberry season doesn't last long and since then I've had to wait all year to pick gooseberries again. But now I have and it's been worth the wait.
What is a cobbler?
A cobbler is baked dessert with stewed fruit on the bottom topped with batter or scone-like dumplings. It's quick to prepare and makes a great family friendly dessert option. You can use fresh or frozen fruit to make it and either are just as delicious.
Is this a heavy dessert?
I considered making a light gooseberry yoghurt fool but the warm desserts of my childhood were what I was really wanting to eat. Hot desserts can be quite heavy but I've managed to create this relatively light gooseberry cobbler that still feels like comfort food.
What's this gooseberry cobbler like?
The gooseberries at the bottom of the cobbler are still sharp but just sweet enough to enjoy. The topping of the cobbler is moist and scone-like. It's not the prettiest dessert but it's easy to make, even while looking after 2 demanding young children and managing to entertain them at the same time.
Gooseberries can vary a lot in sweetness so be careful when adding the sugar. You'll need a little sugar but you don't want the gooseberries to loose their lovely sharp edge.
How to adapt this recipe
Of course, if you can't get hold of gooseberries then you can make a delicious cobbler with any other stewed fruit. Rhubarb is one of my favourites but apples and plums are great too.
You can add some spices to the fruit. Why not stew the gooseberries with a little cinnamon or a star anise?
For a slightly crunchy topping then sprinkle some demerara sugar on top before baking it.
What can you serve with this gooseberry cobbler?
You can eat this cobbler just as it is with no accompaniments. However, I love to eat it with a little vanilla ice cream, custard or natural yogurt. It you like cream then it's also great served with whipped or pouring cream.
Storing and reheating the leftovers
The leftovers will keep in the fridge for up to three days but I think they are best eaten the next day. The stewed fruit can make the topping go a bit soggy if you leave it for too long.
You can also freeze any leftovers for up to three months.
To reheat put the cobbler in an oven-proof dish and cover with aluminium foil to stop the top burning. Bake it in the oven again for 15 minutes at about 160C.
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Why not try one of these delicious dessert options?
- 500 g gooseberries
- 50 g sugar
For the Topping
- 150 g self-raising flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 50 g butter cubed
- 80 ml milk I used semi-skimmed
- 1 egg
- Wash the gooseberries and snip off the ends. I just used my nails but you could use a small pair of scissors.
- Put the gooseberries in a saucepan with a dash of water and a little sugar. Be careful not to add too much as you can always add a little more after stewing them for a short time. Bring the pan to the boil and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Taste the gooseberries and add a little more sugar if necessary.
- Transfer the gooseberries to a greased ovenproof dish.
- Put the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Rub the butter in with your fingers.
- In another smaller bowl or jug, beat the egg and add the milk. Then pour this mixture into the bowl with the flour. Stir until it is just combined and then drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the top of the gooseberries.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180°C. Let it cool slightly and then serve warm.