Green Gooseberry and Elderflower Compote

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Simply Delicious 2

Simply Delicious 2

By Darina Allen

Published 1990

  • About

When I’m driving through country lanes in late May or early June, suddenly I spy the elderflower coming into blossom. Then I know it’s time to go and search on gooseberry bushes for the hard, green fruit, far too under-ripe at that stage to eat raw, but wonderful cooked in tarts or fools or in this delicious Compote. Elderflowers have an extraordinary affinity with green gooseberries and by a happy arrangement of nature they are both in season at the same time.


  • 2 lbs (900 g) green gooseberries
  • 2 or 3 elderflower heads
  • 1 pint (600 ml/ cups) cold water
  • 1 lb (450 g/2 cups) sugar


First top and tail the gooseberries. Tie 2 or 3 elderflower heads in a little square of muslin, put in a stainless steel or enamelled saucepan, add the sugar and cover with cold water. Bring slowly to the boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Add the gooseberries and simmer just until the fruit bursts. Allow to get cold. Serve in a pretty bowl and decorate with fresh elderflowers.