This tangy gooseberry dessert with its smooth custard and unusual hints of lavender and marigold is worth the effort and looks very impressive when served at dinner parties
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Skill level: Bit of effort
- 1tsp fresh, or dried, lavender flowers
- 6-7tbs caster sugar
- 2 thin strips lemon rind
- 400g (14oz) gooseberries, topped and tailed
- 4 drops of lavender essence
- About 100ml (3½fl oz) double cream, whipped
- Marigold and lavender flowers, to decorate
For the custard:
- 300ml (½ pint) milk
- 2 heads of calendula/ marigold
- 3 medium egg yolks
- 2 level tbs caster sugar
- 1 level tbs cornflour
- 6 drops of lavender essence
- To make the custard: Pour the milk into a medium pan, add the calendula/marigold petals and heat gently until almost boiling. Pour into a jug, then blitz with a stick blender.
- Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a mixing bowl. Pour the milk over, whisking well, and pour the mixture back into the rinsed pan. Stir over a medium heat quite vigorously until it simmers. Cook for a minute. Add 6 drops of lavender essence. Pour into a jug or bowl. Cover closely with cling film and let it cool.
- To cook the gooseberries: Put the lavender flowers, sugar and lemon rind with 100ml (3½fl oz) water in a small pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil for 5 mins. Add the gooseberries and cook for about 3 mins, shaking the pan occasionally, until the fruit is just soft. Take out the lemon rind.
- Drain the fruit, keeping the juices. Pour these back into the pan and boil until syrupy. Add 4 drops of lavender essence. Leave to cool.
- Spoon the gooseberries and lavender syrup into 4 tumblers. Spoon the custard, then whipped cream, on top of the fruit. Decorate with marigold petals and just a few lavender flowers.
Nutritional information per portion
This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.
Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.