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I came across this recipe in a very old family collection of recipes. The idea reminds me of baked Alaska but without the ice cream. The sweetness of the meringue takes the edge off the tartness of the gooseberries. It is also a good way of using up left over sponges.

Serves 6

  • 1 plain sponge cake, or similar
  • 900g (2lbs) green gooseberries
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar

For the meringue:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar

Prepare the gooseberries by topping and tailing. Place them in a saucepan with a little water and sugar. Cook gently until the fruit is pulped. Cut the sponge into thick rounds and put a round at the bottom of a pudding basin (1.5 litre capacity). Cover with a layer of hot stewed gooseberries, then a second layer of cake until the dish is full. Cover the filled basin with a saucer and a weight, and leave to get cold. Preheat the oven to 170C (325F, Gas mark 3). Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add one-third of the sugar and whisk again until glossy and smooth. Now fold in the remaining sugar. Turn out the pudding onto a baking tray and cover the pudding with meringue. Cook in the oven until the whites are set and just beginning to colour. Serve with cream.

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