Gooseberry Fool

This year there were plenty of tiny gooseberries and enough to do something with them so for a quick pudding I whizzed up some gooseberry fool. Here’s the recipe. As the gooseberries were very small, I didn’t think it necessary to blitz them after cooking them and it was nice to have a bit of texture.

500g gooseberries
125g sugar
125ml whipping cream, chilled
1 pot natural yoghurt, chilled

Combine the gooseberries and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring so that the sugar doesn’t stick.

Cook for 10 minutes and then leave to cool.

Whip the cream and combine with the yoghurt and mix the fruit through.



Strawberry Jam

The strawberries are now in season and producing lots so it would be a shame not to make the most of them. The only problem with jam-making in Spain is that you can’t buy jam sugar with added pectin and pectin only seems to be available in specialist shops in Madrid. This recipe therefore only uses normal sugar.

The first recipe produced a vibrant red more liquid version with the fruits holding their own better and and the second a more solid, paler jam which was not so runny. Jam-making is a work in progress and this page will be added to in the future. My ideal scenario would be to add some pectin – possibly pectin made a stock when the quinces come into season. The recommended amount of sugar for 1000g of strawberries was 500g sugar but in order to cut down on this we used 350g instead.

I think that the jam produced in the first recipe would be fantastic mixed with fresh strawberries or cherries for the topping for a cheesecake.


1000g strawberries
350g sugar

Mix the strawberries and the sugar and squeeze through your fingers to pulp.

Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 6 minutes.

Pour into sterilised jars.

Immerse the jars in boiling water and cook for a further 10 minutes.



1000g strawberries
500g sugar
30ml lemon juice

Mix the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice together and squeeze through your fingers to pulp. As I was going to be boiling this recipe for longer, I didn’t want to mash the strawberries as much as in the previous recipe.

Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 20 minutes.

Pour into sterilised jars.

Immerse the jars in boiling water and cook for a further 10 minutes.



The tomato season will soon be here so I’m trying to perfect a recipe for salmorejo as an alternative to gazpacho.
Here’s the recipe I used today. It seemed to be a bit tasteless so I added a couple of capfuls of balsamic vinegar which lifted it up a bit. I’ll top it with some chopped ham and hard boiled eggs from our neighbour Jacinto’s chickens. The recipe I used recommended skinning the tomatoes but I don’t think that’s necessary. The recipe below makes enough for three people with some over.

500g ripe tomatoes
100g stale bread, soaked in water
100ml olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
balsamic vinegar

Chop the tomatoes, removing the core. Add all the other ingredients and blitz. Add as much of the water for soaking the bread as necessary.

Chill before serving with chopped hard-boiled egg and serrano ham.