I simply adore this time of year when there is an ever-increasing bounty of fresh fruits to play with. Some are best left plain and eaten while fruity and juicy (sticky chin alert!) like nectarines, peaches, plums and plump strawberries. Others are best cooked then mixed with equally delicious ingredients to make fools, flummeries, mousses, ices and crumbles – I’m talking about fruits like damsons, plums, greengages and gooseberries.
I chanced upon the first crop of the latter yesterday perkily perched in the supermarket just waiting to be grabbed but allotment friends tell me they have also harvested their own first pickings this last week. They are just perfect for fooling around with and make a gorgeous dessert for summer days. Mine were a green variety called invicta but red varieties are also on their way and both can be used in the same way, although they may differ in sweetness.
I have long made fools (there’s no fool like an old fool!) but my past recipes were always heavy on the cream and generous with the sugar. To it has been time for a re-vamp in the bariatriccookery.com kitchen. This new version is certainly bariatric-friendly since it has little added sugar, made with yogurt rather than cream and is flavoured with just a little elderflower cordial/syrup or orange essence. It has worked fabulously well and where else will you find a dessert that comes in at about 60 calories?
The cooked gooseberries can be pureed and added to the yogurt then spooned into glasses for serving as above, or they can be left whole and layered with the yogurt as below – your choice – both are moreish and seemingly indulgent!
425 g/15 oz gooseberries, topped and tailed
1 tbsp elderflower cordial (or sugar-free syrup of your choice, or few drops orange essence and 2 tsp water)
artificial sweetener to taste (I used Truvia)
200 g/1 cup fat-free thick Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
mint leave to decorate (optional)
1. Place the gooseberries in a heavy-based pan with the cordial, syrup or essence and water. Cover, place over a low heat and stew gently until the berries soften and break up slightly.
2. Remove from the heat and sweeten with artificial sweetener to taste. Allow to cool thoroughly then puree if a smooth texture is required (ideal for the Amber/soft/pureed stage of eating after surgery).
3. Stir in the yogurt, swirling it attractively through the gooseberries and spoon into glasses or a large serving bowl. Alternatively, layer the gooseberries with the yogurt in glasses for serving.
4. Cover with cling film/saran wrap and chill for at least 1 hour before serving, decorated with sprigs of fresh mint if liked.
WLS PORTION: 1/2-1
V suitable for Vegetarians
CALORIES PER PORTION: 60