Gooseberry and Potato Cobbler

One of the most exquisite combinations in the world of food must surely be gooseberries cooked with elderflower. The taste is reminiscent of Muscat grapes, sweet and sensuous, only possible for a couple of weeks each year and not to be missed. Here the fruit is given a crust topping. Eat with lashings of cream.


For the Crust

  • 8 oz (225 g) potato, peeled, cooked and puréed
  • 12 oz (350 g) self-raising flour
  • 2 oz (50 g) butter, melted
  • 6 fl oz (175 ml) milk

For the Filling

  • 1 lb (450 g) gooseberries, topped and tailed
  • 4 flower heads of elderflower, well washed
  • 2 oz (50 g) sugar
  • A little water


Sift the flour into a large bowl and stir in the potato. Add the butter and enough of the milk to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and push into a round.

Put the gooseberries into a flan dish with the elderflower and the sugar and pour in a little water. Cover with the crust, cut off any surplus dough around the side and bake at gas mark 6/400°F/200°C for about 25 minutes.

‘A correspondent informs us potato water thrown upon gooseberry and other fruit trees will effectually destroy the caterpillars.’

From A Year with the Ladies of Llangollen by Elizabeth Mavor, 1971.