Blackcurrant and gooseberry crumble

We’re are big fans of crumble but any variations usually happen in the crumble layer. This time, we livened up our gooseberry crumble classic by adding blackcurrants. I’m pleased to report it’s a match made in heaven.

We’re nearly always too busy with the start of the season to make crumble with green gooseberries, so the later season dessert gooseberries are a gift for crumble lovers. Their natural sweetness means you can add less sugar, and they make a crumble lightly pink.

Adding the blackcurrants to this gooseberry crumble really packed a punch for the tastebuds. Blackcurrants – most commonly known in Ribena format – are wonderful to cook with as their bold flavour holds it own with lemon, chocolate and in baking. They are a sharp-tasting fruit and so I heated them gently with some sugar before adding them to the pie dish.

The classic crumble mixture uses just flour, butter and sugar. I always replace some of the flour with oats, to give it a hearty bite. This can never remember the proportions to use – this time I followed Nigel Slater’s lead.

Note that I prefer an under-sweetened dessert, and so I almost always dial down the sugar to three quarters the recommended amount. If you prefer a sweeter dessert, you may want to increase the sugar.

Blackcurrant and gooseberry crumble


  • 750 g gooseberries, either green or dessert
  • 250 g blackcurrants
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 75 g butter, cut into small cubes
  • 50 g rolled oats
  • 75 g demerara sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
  2. Strip the blackcurrants from the stalk with a fork, and remove any small stray stalks and leaves.
  3. Put the blackcurrants in a pan with the caster sugar, and heat gently until they release their juices, and the sugar dissolves.
  4. Meanwhile, top and tail the gooseberries, and spread them evenly across an oven-proof pie dish.
  5. Top with the blackcurrants.
  6. Either rub the butter Blend the flour and butter in a food processor for a few seconds, until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  7. Stir in the oats and the brown sugar, then sprinkle over the fruit in the pie dish.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until crisp and golden-brown on top, and the juices are bubbling up.
  9. Serve with custard, créme fraîche, or vanilla ice cream.

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