Yield: 4 servings
|½ pounds||Fresh gooseberries|
|1 cup||All-purpose flour (heaping)|
|2 tablespoons||Vegetable oil|
|½ cup||;Water, approximately|
|1 \N||Egg white|
|\N \N||Vegetable oil for frying|
|8 \N||Heads elderflowers|
|\N \N||Confectioners' sugar|
Wash the gooseberries and put them in a saucepan with the sugar. Cover tightly and cook gently over low-heat until tender, about 10 minutes.
Puree in a blender or food processor or put through a food mill and set aside.
In a bowl, make the batter by mixing the flour, salt and oil. Add water 1 tb. at a time to make a batter with the consistency of thick cream. In a separate bowl, whip the egg white until stiff but not dry, then fold it gently into the batter.
Heat 3 to 4 inches of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Rinse and dry the elderflowers. Dip each flower in the batter, shake off the surplus, and deep-fry for about 4 minutes on each side. Drain the fritters on paper towels.
To serve, divide the sauce among 4 plates, arrange 2 fritters on top of each, and dust with confectioners' sugar.
Note: This dessert can only be enjoyed in early summer, when the elderberry bushes are in flower.
The authors write: "'I just enjoy cooking so. It's very satisfying,' says Joyce Molyneux, chef-owner of the Carved Angel in Dartmouth.
Before opening the Carved Angel, Joyce had spent many years working with the well-known English culinary expert George Perry Smith at the Hole in the Wall in Bath, eventually becoming his partner. She was also exposed to French cuisine by her French father. However, Joyce says she's most interested in very low-key, simple cooking using local ingredients - the kind of food you can eat twice a day.
"The Carved Angel itself is simple but charming. Great bowls of herbs are gathered into country bouquets; bottles of elderflower vinegar sit on a shelf catching the sunlight that pours through the windows; and a glorious display of strawberries and tarts is temptingly arrayed near the entrance. Joyce cooks in an open kitchen at the back of the small room. 'I like being able to see the customers,' she says, and she can also catch glimpses of the river and the bustling dockside through the restaurant's large, light-filled windows.
"Many of the herbs she uses, including the borage flowers that decorate desserts, come from a tiny allotment high on a neighboring hillside overlooking the mouth of the river. Elderflowers, when they are in season, might be gathered from the hedgerows by the woman who daily delivers strawberries to the restaurant or, on occasion, picked by Joyce herself. Even local roses lend their subtle fragrance to desserts when they are available. 'Actually,' says Joyce, 'I use whatever seems nice.'"
From Joyce Molyneux of The Carved Angel restaurant in Dartmouth, MA in "Cooking with Herbs" by Emelie Tolley and Chris Mead. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., 1989. Pg. 186. Posted by Cathy Harned.
Submitted By CATHY HARNED On 10-08-94