Gooseberries with Lavender and Marigold Custard

You will Need:

  • 1tsp fresh, or dried, lavender flowers
  • 6-7 tbs 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 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.

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