Serve warm or cold for pudding or tea but preferably with lots of thick double cream.As this recipe makes more gooseberry syrup than you need, you can store the remainder in a clean covered container in the fridge for two days or freeze until needed. It can be added to any gooseberry pudding.ESTHER BREGOLI'S ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL25 flower heads of elderflower1.5kg/3lb 8oz sugar1.5 litres/212 pints water5g/2oz citric acid2 lemons, finely slicedPick the flower heads early on a sunny morning if you can, from fields away from pulluted roads The blooms should not be full blown Choose those most sweetly perfumed. Briefly dip them into a sink of cold water to dislodge any insect life. Shake water off.Make a sugar syrup by boiling water and sugar in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve. Repeat with the remaining gooseberries until they are all lightly poached. Remove the foil and return to the oven to dry out for a further five minutes.In the meantime, place the water and sugar in a non-corrosive saucepan and dissolve over a moderate heat.
Stir in a single layer of gooseberries and simmer gently for three to four minutes or until they begin to soften but have not burst their skins. Remove from the syrup with a slotted spoon and spread in a single layer on a large plate. As early as 1629 John Parkinson cites green gooseberries being used in tarts, and certainly both Robert May in The Accomplisht Cook in 1685 and Hannah Glasse in The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy in 1747 give recipes Hannah Glasse's recipe is for red gooseberry tarts. Prick their bottoms with a fork then line with scrunched- up foil and chill for 30 minutes.Preheat oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6 and bake the tartlets blind for 10 to 15 minutes, until the pastry begins to colour. However, the term "tart" can cause confusion, as it still refers to a covered pie in Scotland and Ireland, whereas in England it is usually interpreted as an open top pastry.Makes 6 tarts225g/8oz shortcrust pastry285ml/12 pint water340g/12oz granulated sugar455g/1lb green gooseberries, topped and tailed1 tablespoon apple jelly (optional)Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface and line six 9cm (312in) greased tart tins. Serve with the lemon wedges and gooseberry relish.GOOSEBERRY TARTGooseberry tart was once as much a national dish as roast beef. Once the grill is searingly hot, grill the mackerel fillets skin side up if they are under a grill and skin side down if they are on a ribbed cast-iron oven-top grill pan.
As soon as their skins begins to blister and turn golden, turn and grill for a further five minutes. If you are using a ribbed cast-iron oven- top grill pan, preheat over a moderate heat.Place the mackerel fillets flesh side down on a board and lightly make three evenly spaced diagonal slashes across the skin of each fillet This should stop them curling up as they cook Brush each fillet with a little olive oil and season. Using a slotted spoon, remove the gooseberries to a clean bowl, leaving the spices in the syrup. Simmer gently for three minutes before adding the gooseberries. Coat them in the spicy mixture, then cover and simmer gently for six to eight minutes or until they are soft but still holding their shape. Boil this liquid until it is thick and syrupy, then mix into the gooseberries. Serve warm or cold according to your mood but remember to remove the whole spices just before serving.To prepare the mackerel preheat the grill to its highest setting and line the grill pan with foil.