Gooseberry Ice-cream Any Time of the Year

Last summer, from our single unassuming gooseberry bush in our allotment, we got an abundant crop. After giving away half of it and making two lots of ice-cream, there was still a lot left over! Not knowing what to do with them, leaving them unattended for a few days, some began to get spoiled and were thrown away. Experience teaches you new things I suppose. When it came to harvesting the final few gooseberries which was about 2 kilograms, I had a plan, I would freeze them. Once they came into the house it was apparent they occupied so much volume that there would not be space in the freezer and I did not know if they would freeze well.

Then it stuck me. We love gooseberry ice-cream so much that, it is the only thing we are going to make and since ice-cream also takes up so much space, I decided to make the ice-cream base and freeze it in portions. So I made the gooseberry into a the ice-cream base with half the sugar, which is just a sort of coulis right for mixing into ice-cream and froze it in plastic bags, flat, occupying very little space.


Frozen Gooseberry Coulis – made with half the sugar and frozen in portions weighted to make a single batch of ice-cream


Last week it was time for ice-cream! Defrosting a bag of gooseberry ice-cream coulis and mixing in a freshly made ice-cream custard as in my previous recipe. Left it to chill in the fridge overnight before churning the next day. It was as good as when I made it from fresh gooseberries. Now there is no reason why it should not work with other fruits, especially blackcurrant which is this family’s other favourite. That is for this years experiment. Would avoid a lot of waste of soft fruit, especially the seasonal and expensive berries. To top it you can have natural homemade ice-cream with no additives, any day of the year, even out of season.


Defrosted Gooseberry coulis


Gooseberry ice-cream, after churning with paddle removed

If you want the recipe for the goose berry ice cream, it is here.



Gooseberry Icecream


An unassuming small gooseberry bush about a meter across was already established in our allotment. This has been a particularly good year for most fruit, supposedly due to the very long and cold winter and late spring and summer, who would have thought! The gooseberry bush was a prime example with all the branches just laden to the full. How can a such a small gooseberry shrub give so many fruit? Gooseberry variety here is unlike the gooseberries we have in India. Oval fruit with light green skin with tinges of red. No large single stone in the centre. Instead, about 4 or 5 tiny seeds, which you don’t even have to pick out while eating, and the skin has a lot of fine hairs.

Takes hours to harvest, avoiding the sharp thorns and picking the small fruit one by one. We took turns and did it a quarter of the bush at one time. Even with the tiered picking, we wasted a lot this year, fruit quickly rotting in the unusual heat while awaiting delivery to friends and neighbours. We have effectively used about half the total produce, I estimate.

Staring at the pile of gooseberries, I realised I have never eaten gooseberry jam. Gooseberry ice-cream, at the pick your own farm near Macclesfield, was gorgeous. So it was time to crack ice-cream! My previous feeble attempts at ice-cream making were mostly flavoured ice crystals! But now I had a secret weapon, an ice-cream churner attachment for the Kenwood mixer and the bowl was already in the freezer. Continue reading