Gooseberry and Elderflower compote


My mum’s auntie and uncle live around Lyon where it is much greener than in Provence where I grew up. They have a lovely little garden where some wild gooseberry bushes manage to produce a few berries every year. My mum loves gooseberries and she always told me how surprised she was when she found out that nobody liked them which is why they never tended these bushes.

It is gooseberry season right now and I decided to make the most of it for two reasons:

– My mum will be delighted when I bring her a pot of my compote in September when I visit and,

-It looks like Elderflower and Gooseberry are best mates, and since I recently made Elderflower cordial and Elderflower syrup, I thought it would be a good idea to combine them. Of course you can still do this recipe without, just follow the steps below. The Elderflower adds a sweet and floral taste to the compote, which makes it very fresh and perfect for the summer.

This recipe is not to make a preserve but a compote, which means that it won’t keep for long on a shelve. I would recommend to store it in the fridge. I made a relatively small quantity, 3 jam pots. We already ate a pot at the week end… Whip cream and Greek Yogurt together and mix it with the compote to make a Gooseberry Fool… Or you can add to yogurt with granola for breakfast… or simply eat it on its own with a spoon “Nigella style” at midnight.


  • 550g Gooseberry, washed, head and tail cut off
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Elderflower cordial
  • 1 tbps Elderflower syrup

Place the Gooseberries and the sugar in a pan over low heat until the berries start releasing their juices (a few minutes). Mix well to dissolve the sugar and crush the berries with a fork or even better a potato masher. If you prefer to have a smooth compote, you can use a hand held food processor, but personally I prefer little bits in it.

At this point, if you don’t have Elderflower cordial or syrup, it is absolutely not a problem. Taste the compote and add more sugar until you are satisfy with the level of sweetness. If you think the compote is too liquid, boil the mixture for a little bit until you achieve the right consistency.
If you have Elderflower Cordial and/or syrup, you must add them at the end, just before filling the pots.  You want to heat the mixture until it boils slightly to reduce the juice and concentrate the flavour. I added this step also because I knew I would add the cordial and the syrup which would add extra liquid. Alway mix so the compose doesn’t burn and when you have reached quite a dense mixture (after about 15minutes boiling), turn the heat off. Add the Elderflower Cordial and syrup to the hot mixture, mix well and fill clean jars. Store in the fridge.



One thought on “Gooseberry and Elderflower compote

  1. Nigel Slater has a pork and gooseberries recipe that I’ve made before and is very good!! 🙂 I’ve also been meaning to try his goosebery elderflower trifle and gooseberry crumble cake recipes. 🙂 xx

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