Gooseberry Sauce


Gooseberry sauce is often served with mackerel, its astringent clean taste setting off the rich, oily flesh to perfection. Since it is little more than a purée with flavour-enhancing additions, that may include lemon juice and chives, freeze the berries on their own as a purée which you can then use for other things like tarts, fools or sorbets, or as the fancy takes you.


  • 450 g/ 1 lb gooseberries
  • 30 g/ 1 oz butter
  • 30 g/ 1 oz caster sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives


Remove any remaining element of stalk from the gooseberries and put them in a pan with 250 ml/ 8 fl oz cold water and the butter. Bring to the boil, immediately lower the heat and simmer gently until the gooseberries are soft.

Put them into a food processor and whiz until puréed. Push them through a sieve with a wooden spoon to extract any skins. The purée can now be held in the fridge for a day or two, or frozen.

If proceeding immediately, put the purée into a clean saucepan with the caster sugar and heat gently. Add the lemon juice and chopped chives.

Serve with grilled mackerel or herring and with plain boiled new potatoes.