Green Gooseberry and Elderflower Compote Recipe | PBS Food

Green Gooseberry and Elderflower Compote

by Chef Darina Allen A delicious recipe for when elderflowers are coming into bloom and gooseberries aren't quite ripe


Yield: 6-8 servings



  • 2 lbs. green gooseberries
  • 2 or 3 elderflower heads
  • 1 pint cold water
  • 1 lb. sugar


  1. First top and tail the gooseberries.
  2. Tie 2 or 3 elderflower heads in a little square of muslin, put in a stainless steel or enamelled saucepan, add the sugar, and cover with cold water.
  3. Bring slowly to a boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Add the gooseberries and simmer just until the fruit bursts.
  4. Allow to get cold. Serve in a pretty bowl and decorate with fresh elderflowers.
  5. Green Gooseberry and Elderflower Fool: Liquidise the compote and mix with softly whipped cream to taste — about 2 volumes of whipped cream to fruit purée.
  6. Serve chilled with shortbread biscuits.


Chef Darina Allen notes: When I'm driving through country lanes in late May or early June, suddenly I spy the elderflower coming into bloom. Then I know it's time to go and search gooseberry bushes for the hard, green fruit, far too under-ripe at that stage to eat raw, but wonderful cooked in tarts or fools or in this delicious compote. Elderflowers have an extraordinary affinity with green gooseberries and by a happy arrangement of nature they are both in season at the same time.

This segment appears in show #3114.

Recipe courtesy of Darina Allen
© 2006 Darina Allen

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