August 7, 2013


gooseberry and almond streusel squares6 I acquired a small quantity of gooseberries recently and thought I would like to do something a bit different from the usual crumble.  After no time at all I came across this recipe on the Good Food website.

The result was something like a cross between a pudding and a cake.  A dessert cake in fact.

It reminded me of school dinners. When I was a junior I went home for dinner but once I went to the “big school”, on the bus, I had school dinner every day. They were mostly delicious, cooked fresh at school from scratch every day by a small team of ladies, who would beam at us from the serving hatch. The puddings they made were wonderful. Apple pie, Manchester tart, baked ginger sponge, chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce, fruit trifle in summer and a sort of baked currant pudding which we affectionately called “millstone grit”.

They were all delicious, served with huge jugs of custard if appropriate (fights almost broke out over whose turn it was to have the skin) and the ladies would beam again as we scraped every morsel from our bowls. The empty bowls would be piled up on the hatch and the ladies set to tackling the washing up in the happy knowledge that they had fed us properly.

Happy days.

gooseberry and almond streusel squares5 So although I don’t remember having this exact cake for pudding at school it is very much the kind of thing that might have appeared on the table.  The introduction to the recipe suggests it can be served warm as a pudding or cold with a cup of tea and that reminds me again of the times I walked past the school dining room at the start of afternoon lessons and would see the cooks sitting at a table tucking into a cup of tea and slice or two of cold pudding.

gooseberry and almond streusel squares2gooseberry and almond streusel squares3

gooseberry and almond streusel squares4

For the cake you make a quantity of crumble, press most of it into the bottom of a tin, add the fruit and sprinkle the rest on top.  Easy peasy and absolutely delicious.  Perfect served warm with custard and nice too the day after, served cold and cut into squares, although it’s a little moist to eat with fingers.  Forks are required.

alphabakesI am entering this post into this month’s Alphabakes challenge is to bake something with the letter “G” in it.  Thanks to this month’s host, Ros of The More Than Occasional Baker, and her partner Caroline of Caroline Makes for organising this challenge.


250 self-raising flour

250 cold butter, cubed

125g ground almonds

125g light muscovado sugar

350g gooseberries, topped and tailed and rinsed (frozen fruit works just as well)

2 tblsp caster sugar

50g flaked almonds (optional)


Preheat the oven to 190°C / 170°fan / gas mk 5.  Grease a 27cm x 18cm (approximately) baking or roasting tin and line the base with baking paper.

Put the flour and butter in a food processer and pulse to form breadcrumbs (or rub in by hand).  Add the almonds and muscovado sugar and pulse briefly to combine.

Press two thirds of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the tin and as far up the sides as you can.

Put the gooseberries in a bowl and toss with the caster sugar.  Spread them over the crumb base.  Mix the flaked almonds into the remaining one third of the crumb mixture and sprinkle this evenly over the top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes until golden brown and the fruit is just bubbling around the edges.  Cool in the tin.

Server warm with cream, custard or ice cream, or leave until cold and cut into squares.

Cuts into 8-12 squares, depending on how big you like your squares.


  1. I love 'old fashioned' fruit - the sort that you can't often get at the supermarket but usually comes fresh from someones garden.

    This looks delicious. I'll try it out. I haven't got any gooseberries at the moment but do have some rhubarb.

    I can identify with your school dinner memories, too.

    1. Gaynor, this would work really well with rhubarb I think. Maybe even plums.
      I think I'll try the rhubarb option, possibly with a little ginger, this weekend.

    2. Or apricots. Yummmm......

    3. My sister, Anne, made this at Christmas and used fruits of the forest (frozen) with only a little sugar added and it was amazing. Fit to serve at the finest table.

  2. One of the few disappointments of this area is that gooseberries don't grow. Almost nobody has them in their gardens and I rarely see the fruit. A shame, as we love them.

    1. Susan, if I see some before we next arrive chez nous, I will get you some!

    2. That is exceedingly kind and generous of you, thank you.

  3. I saw some at a specialist greengrocers today. I decided to meet my friend for lunch and get the goosegogs on my way back to the car.

    Big mistake! Someone got there before me in and bought all 8 punnets!!

    1. Oh dear, that's a pity. Back to the rhubarb option !!

  4. I think gooseberries are so unfairly ignored. They're one of my favourite fruits in both sweet and savoury dishes. So this is definitely my kind of pud (or cake). Wish I could be as enthusiastic about school dinners. Ours were horrible - seriously, unbelievably horrible. The ladies who made them didn't beam, though they did like to scowl now and then.

  5. wowzers, I love how green the raw goosegogs look in the uncooked pic.. a fab recipe and I adore gooseberries, so tart and spiky and gloriously summery... lovely stuff!

  6. I love dessert cakes! A great use of gooseberries - thank for entering AlphaBakes.

  7. This is so different, never heard of gooseberries in cake... sounds great! I should try it out...