A Bit of Britain
In honor of the England vs. U.S. soccer game over the weekend, I thought we might make this blog a little more international in flavor by featuring some rather English dishes. (Actually, it has nothing to do with the soccer game. It’s just a coincidence.)
I’ve been showing you pictures of our red currants and red gooseberries for awhile now, and the time has come to figure out what to do with them. Since both of these fruits are more common in Europe, it took awhile to find recipes that would work. I actually gave up on the red currants, and adapted a recipe that calls for raspberries, because I couldn’t find any good recipes calling for fresh red currants!
So what did I end up making? Two rather British desserts, Gooseberry Fool and Red Currant Scones. Red Currant Scones & Gooseberry Fool (PDF)
First, let’s talk about the Fool. A fool is a dessert that basically consists of a fruit puree that is folded into whipped cream with enough sugar to make it tasty. It is simple, but a bit of a step up from the mere “berries with sugar and cream” option.
I strained and mashed them after cooking. The “glop” looks rather unappetizing, but the juice is a glorious crimson color! I mixed all of the glop and about 1/3 of the juice (since it was runny) into the whipped cream to make the fool. Oh yeah, and sugar. Don’t forget the sugar!
Next up, the Red Currant Scones! (Adapted from a recipe for Raspberry Scones)
The scone batter is pretty simple to make. The key to good scones, from what I understand, is to make sure your butter is cold and then cut it into the dry ingredients with a fork or pastry blender. After that step, I gently mixed in the currants, followed by the whisked eggs and milk.
After baking, the scones are soft and delicious. They are much lighter and less flaky than a lot of scones I’ve had, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The tang (read sour) of the currants complements the sweetness of the scone nicely. I think these will make an appearance at our Master Gardener fruit training this fall. (Now if that isn’t an inducement to become a Master Gardener, I don’t know what is!)