Gooseberry, elderflower and ginger relish…

I’ve been a bit tardy in writing this post but have no fear, we are still in the midst of gooseberry season and therefore it’s the perfect time to cook yourself up the most delicious gooseberry, elderflower and ginger relish…a fantastic accompaniment to your favourite cold meats or some delicious pork belly, which is how we served it at the last Plate Lickers Supper Club (blogged here). It turned out to be amazingly popular and I have developed a bit of an addiction to it. I even took a jar of it along to a barbecue with me last weekend and can confirm that it’s also great with sausages :).

After seeing this recipe in an Ottolenghi cookbook, I discovered that by total coincidence my parents had a gooseberry bush in their garden, laden with ripe fruit ready for the picking. So on my next visit home, me and my Mum donned a pair of marigolds (they’re evil, spiky b***ards!) and filled our trug full…

To prepare gooseberries you just need a small, sharp pair of scissors. Settle down with some good music and snip the little tail and the tufty black end from the fruit. I froze my gooseberries until I was ready to make the relish, which wasn’t at all detrimental to the finished relish.

To make about 6 jars of relish you will need…

2kg gooseberries, trimmed

A knob of ginger, approx 3 thumbs worth, peeled and thinly sliced

3tsp mustard seeds

240g caster sugar

210ml elderflower cordial

Tie the mustard seeds and ginger up in squares of muslin and tie tightly with cotton. I chose to make 2 smaller bundles instead of one big one. Put your muslin bundles into a large saucepan with the prepared gooseberries, sugar and elderflower cordial, stir together and put on a low heat…

Simmer for about an hour, stirring every so often and skimming off the scum that tends to collect on the surface. The consistency you’re aiming for is that of runny jam…

To test whether your relish is ready…put a saucer in the fridge for a few minutes, then spoon on a little bit of relish, now drag your finger down the middle of it. If the relish stays parted, then it’s ready, if they merge back together, then just simmer for a bit longer before testing again. When you’re happy with the consistency, turn off the heat, remove the muslin bundles and spoon into jars…

The relish can be eaten straight away or will keep for about a week in the fridge.

It might not look very impressive but you’re going to have to take my word for it…it’s divine!


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4 responses to “Gooseberry, elderflower and ginger relish…

  1. Trish Ward

    I was looking for a recipe for gooseberry relish and there I found Jo Kruczynska. I have elderflowers in the garden. I wonder how many I would need to replace the cordial. Hi Jo

    • Hi Trish! This relish is amazing! It worked really well with the pork but I was eating it with everything for a while 🙂 I was going to try making it again but am also going to make elderflower cordial from scratch. I’d be interested to know how you get on if using the eldeflower straight. Good luck.

  2. Trish Ward

    Hi Jo, I don’t really know if the relish came out as expected and it didn’t really go too well with mackerel, but I have just tried some with crusty malted bread with butter and cheese and it went down a treat. I tied the elderflowers up in the muslin bag along with the ginger ,mustard seeds and also a chopped up lemon. I added extra sugar too. Much easier and more reliable to use the cordial I would say but I didn’t have any and I didn’t have the 24 hours needed to make my own! Am brewing up some elderflower champagne now… Trish

    • Hi Trish,
      The bread, butter & cheese combo sounds great! as does elderflower champagne! I made gooseberry & elderflower gin martinis the other day for an event…highly recommended!

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