There is a stand at the farmers’ market which I love and which often only sells two or three different fruits. It occupies a table which is barely more than a metre wide, yet there are always long queues of people waiting eagerly to get their hands on – what I think are – the best cherries and apricots in town.
So far this summer, the children and I have been feasting on big, fat cherries from France; they are so juicy that, even with a bib, my children still manage to stain all of their clothes purple. But I have been enjoying them too much to care about the extra laundry duties.
Last week, while the children were helping the friendly vendor to select some cherries, I noticed an almost empty crate at the end of the stand with two lonely looking punnets of gooseberries. I bought them with the intention of making a gooseberry fool, except the weekend came and went in a flash and the recent summer heat has made all of the fruit in our home ripen more quickly than usual.
So I turned to my trusty crumble cake recipe and made a delicious Gooseberry Crumble Cake. Gooseberries, especially when they are green, are quite tart and are more suitable for cooking than eating raw. This crumble cake is a lovely option as the sour berries are offset nicely by the sweet crumble topping. And even in this so-called heat wave in Zurich, no one can really say no to cake.
- For the cake:
- 140 g (5 oz) plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 50 g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons full cream milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 85 g (3 oz) unsalted butter, melted
- 300g-500g gooseberries
- edible flowers to decorate (optional)
- For the crumble:
- 40 g (1/3 cup) plain flour
- 35 g (1¼ oz) caster sugar
- 35 g (1¼ oz) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Grease and line the base of a 20 cm (8 inch) round springform cake tin.
- Place the flour, baking powder and sugar into a large bowl.
- In a large jug or mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, vanilla and melted butter.
- Gently mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients until everything is incorporated.
- Spoon the mixture into the cake tin.
- Gently wash the gooseberries, and top and tail each berry. Arrange the gooseberries on top of the batter, and gently press them into the batter.
- Make the crumble topping by placing the flour, sugar and butter into a large bowl. Rub the butter into the other ingredients with your fingertips until you have a mixture resembling wet sand.
- Sprinkle the crumble topping over the gooseberries.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the crumble is lightly golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool in the tin on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before serving warm or transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- If you fancy, decorate with edible flowers.
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If you have tried this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #eatlittlebird