This gooseberry fool with custard is a delightful combination of rich vanilla custard, swirled with thick yogurt and gooseberries sweetened with honey. A fool is a traditional English summer time pudding, and this healthier version won't disappoint.
Gooseberry fool with custard is a lovely light dessert. It's really easy to make, and you can prep it ahead of time and leave it it in the fridge. Using yogurt rather than cream means that it is lower in fat, and it's relatively low in added sugar.
The gooseberry season is quite short, and conjures up images of an English summer. Make the most of it with this easy fool recipe, and if you've still got leftover gooseberries, you might like this apple and gooseberry crumble too.
Sadly my gooseberries are over for this season now. In the time it took me to make the fool, the blackbirds completely stripped the bush of the rest of the fruit. I'm surprised they could fly after such a feast...
Gooseberries. You can use any variety to make this gooseberry fool with custard. Frozen gooseberries will be fine as well as fresh. You'll need to top and tail the gooseberries. Just pinch off the little brown tips that you can see at either end of the berry where the flower and stem were.
Honey. You'll need to add a little sweetness to the gooseberries. You can use either honey, maple syrup or sugar. Gooseberries do vary in sweetness, if you are using nice ripe dessert gooseberries you might want to cut down on the sweetener.
Milk. I used a skimmed dairy milk, and the custard still tastes nice and creamy. But you can use whichever milk you prefer.
Cornflour. This is essential to thicken and stabilise the custard. Cornflour as it called in the UK is known as cornstarch in the US and other countries.
Egg. A whole egg is convenient, but if you happen to have 2 yolks you can use those rather than one whole egg.
Sugar. You'll need a couple of tablespoons of sugar to sweeten the custard. Use whichever type of sugar you have - white, brown, castor or granulated. You could also use honey or a sweetener if you prefer.
Vanilla extract also helps to sweeten the custard and goes perfectly with the tart gooseberries. If you prefer, use the seeds from half a vanilla pod and add it to the milk at the start of the recipe.
Yogurt. You'll need a thick creamy yogurt to make this gooseberry fool. Greek yogurt or a plain natural yogurt will work in the recipe.
How to make gooseberry fool with custard
Add the gooseberries to a saucepan along with 1 tablespoon of water. Simmer very gently, and when the juices start to run, add the honey. Cook for a total of 8 - 10 minutes until soft. Refrigerate to chill.
Add the milk to a cold pan, and whisk in the cornflour, egg, sugar and vanilla extract. Place over a medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Simmer for a minute, then remove from the heat and chill.
Strain most of the liquid from the gooseberries. If the custard has set very thick, whisk in a little more milk until you can stir it with a spoon.
Then add a quarter each of the gooseberries, custard and yogurt to 4 bowls or glasses. Gently swirl the mixture together. If you prefer, you could make this gooseberry fool in one large bowl.
Frequently asked questions
No, freezing would spoilt the texture of this dessert. It will keep in the fridge for 3 or 4 days. You can freeze the gooseberry compote however.
Yes, you can safely eat raw gooseberries when they are ripe. The sweeter gooseberries which are often reddish or gold in colour are the best to eat raw. Be guided by the taste - if they are too tart, use them in cooking with a little sugar or honey.
Other healthy desserts
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Gooseberry Fool with Custard
- 2 saucepans
- 4 individual serving dishes or 1 large dish
- 450 gooseberries fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon water
- 250 ml milk skimmed or full fat
- 1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 egg or use 2 yolks
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or use the seeds from half a vanilla pod
- 200 ml thick natural yogurt
- Top and tail the gooseberries by pinching out the remains of stem and flower at either end of the berries.
- Place the gooseberries in a pan with 1 tablespoon water. Bring to a gentle simmer. Once the juices start to run, add the honey. Simmer for 8-10 minutes until the gooseberries are soft. Remove from the heat and chill.
- Add the cold milk, cornflour, sugar, egg and vanilla extract to a cold pan. Whisk until well mixed.
- Place over a medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir constantly. Simmer for a minute until thickened. Remove from the heat and chill.
- Whisk the custard until smooth. If necessary add a little more milk until it is smooth and creamy. Drain most of the liquid from the gooseberries.
- Add a ¼ of each of the gooseberries, custard and yogurt to each dish. Swirl gently to mix.
Please note nutritional information is for guidance only