This Gooseberry Plum Crumble is sweet and tart, perfectly balanced for a delicious dessert. Dairy free, eggless, refined sugar free, can be gluten free. Full of fibre, nutrients and low in fat. Best served warm for a comforting dessert.
Gooseberries. There are all sorts of different ways to pronounce that word. One of my friends and I were debating which is the correct way to say it: guz-breez or goose-berries. In fact, this became something of a running joke, so when it came to her birthday I thought a packet of gooseberries would be an ideal present.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find any in the supermarket. A couple of weeks later, on my birthday, she presented me with a KitKat and a packet of Wispa bites. “I was hoping to give you some gooseberries, but the shops didn’t have any!” she said. Of course, an almost identical substitute for such a fruit was certainly chocolate… (I wasn’t complaining though, I must admit).
A few months later, my friend sent me a photo of two large tubs, full to the brim with – you guessed it – gooseberries! It was very exciting, and I inquired as to how she’d ended up with them, having failed to find any at all back in March. She responded that they were home-grown, and that I was welcome to have some.
So, I had a food bag of the green berries (a few were a dark red). Having never tried them before, I was intrigued and took a small bite of one of the red ones (I assumed it would be sweeter, being more ripe). The texture resembled that of a grape, and the taste was similar to a slightly sour plum. However, I decided it would probably be wiser to cook them.
Then I had the idea of making a gooseberry crumble – the sweet crumble with some custard ought to balance out the sharp flavour of the gooseberries.
First, I ‘topped and tailed’ each one (basically cutting off the top and bottom stalks), before chopping each one in half. It was at this point I realised I didn’t have enough to cover the bottom of my baking dish, so I grabbed 2 plums from the fridge, gave them a quick wash, then cut them up to add too. The gooseberry plum crumble was in the making…
For the crumble, I must confess I made a ‘normal’ crumble, which for me is impossible to beat. Brown sugar, butter and flour combine for a gorgeously old-fashioned, simple crumble. BUT I have various ‘healthier’ versions for you, don’t worry!
To see which Gooseberry Plum Crumble version would suit you best, here’s a breakdown of the options:
Butter – high saturated fat content (not so good if you’re trying to keep things low fat), but great for cooking to high temperatures without releasing harmful carcinogens. Makes crumble lovely and golden, the classic crisp, biscuit-y texture (especially with flour and brown sugar).
Greek yoghurt – good protein content, lower fat. Makes ‘crumble’ more doughy and chewy (especially with oats), more like an oat mug cake.
Oats – fab way to make this gluten-free (make sure they are certified as such). More doughy soft texture (especially with Greek yoghurt), adds a nice mellow flavour.
Wholewheat flour – good fibre content, less refined. Means a more grainy texture and ‘darker’ flavour.
Brown sugar – less refined than white caster. Gives sweet mellow flavour.
Maple syrup/honey – I’ve tried this once with maple syrup.* More gooey texture (I don’t recommend this with the oats+yoghurt if possible, as your ‘crumble’ will be more like a chewy cake layer).
For one version of the crumble, please refer to my Healthy Apple Crumble recipe.
This Gooseberry Plum Crumble is sweet and tart, perfectly balanced. Gooseberries are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and a good source of essential nutrients. Plums are a great source of dietary fibre and nutrients, with very low calories and no harmful fats. Both of these balance with the crumble (which you can personalise to suit you). Best served warm for a comforting dessert.
*As I’m not a nutritionist, I can’t say for certain but I’ve heard many of the benefits of these are ‘killed’ with the heat from the oven? I tend to use brown/muscovado sugar as they still have some nutrition and are less refined, but make for a lovely texture. I don’t know enough about this, so if you like to use maple syrup or honey, they’ll work fine here.