Gooseberries in Saffron Custard

A recipe from Stephen Markwick

This recipe originated from the Carved Angel in Dartmouth where Stephen Markwick worked with Joyce Molyneux. Red gooseberries are particularly good.
The saffron custard also works well with rhubarb and damsons.

Serves 6 


  • 225g gooseberries
  • 50 g castor sugar
  • 1 tblsp. elderflower cordial (optional)
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 600 ml single cream
  • 75g clear honey
  • a pinch of saffron filaments


  1. Preheat the oven to 140 C/ Gas Mark 1.
  2. Top and tail the gooseberries then put in a pan with the sugar and either a drop of water, or a splash of elderflower cordial and cook for a few minutes intil tender.
  3. Make the custard by whisking the yolks with the honey in a large heatproof bowl then add the cream and saffron. When well mixed place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water or you may curdle the mixture. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
  4. Spoon the gooseberries into 6 ramekin dishes leaving behind any excess liquid. Strain the custard into a jug and pour it over the gooseberries to reach the top of the dishes.
  5. Put the ramekins in a roasting tin with enough water to come half way up on the sides and bake for 45 minutes to an hour until just set. Set aside to cool.
  6. You can serve the ramekin of gooseberries on its own or with shortbread biscuits (homemade ones are best!).