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Hungarian Goosberry Sauce – Egresmártás, Piszkeszósz

gooseberry stew


Introducing a unique addit
Introducing the somewhat underappreciated summer berry – gooseberries! These light green and pink blushed fruits make refreshing sweet desserts and pair well with savory dishes. In England, they’re used in a gooseberry stew with mackerel, while in Hungary, they’re transformed into a sweet and sour sauce served with meats. Here’s a recipe for the Hungarian gooseberry sauce that’s perfect for a summer meal.

Ingredients: (4 servings)

  • 700g (1 lb 8 oz) gooseberries, topped and tailed
  • 125 ml (½ cup) double/heavy cream – or could use a lighter cream or milk
  • 250 ml (1 cup) water
  • 2 tbsp sugar – or to taste, you could also use sweetener instead
  • 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
  • tiny pinch of salt


  1. Wash then top and tail the gooseberries, it’s easy to pinch off the ends but you can use scissors too.
  2. Place them in a pan with the water and the small pinch of salt, bring to the boil (at this point I reserved a few half-cooked berries for decoration, optional) cook until the gooseberries start to fall apart. It would only take 4-5 minutes of cooking from boiling point.
  3. Mix the flour with a little cold water combine with the double cream until smooth
  4. Laddle in a little of the hot liquid from the cooking gooseberries and combine with the cream-flour mixture, add a bit more of the hot liquid if needed, it should be easy to pour
  5. Slowly add the cream mixture to the simmering soup continuously stirring, let it boil stirring occasionally until it thickens into a sauce.
  6. I like to add the sugar at the end, start with one tablespoon, taste to see how much more you need.
  7. Serve with any roast/cooked meats, I have roast chicken here and some buttery parsley potatoes. The sauce is also very good with beef or pork

4 thoughts on “Hungarian Goosberry Sauce – Egresmártás, Piszkeszósz

  1. Hmmm, I have a gooseberry bush, make pie with them that has sour cream in the recipe. Won’t this be very sour with that little bit of sugar? I have gooseberries in freezer from last summer, bush not doing well this year for some reason.

  2. Two tablespoons of sugar seemed to be enough to me for this amount of gooseberry to go with the meat, but maybe some people would prefer it sweeter. When making a dessert with them though it is quite possible you would need more. Your gooseberry bush might be having a rest year, luckily the frozen ones work just as well.

    1. I make the pie with sour cream also. This is the first year my gooseberry bush is not producing. They take a rest year?

      1. Sorry don’t know if gooseberry can take a rest year, we have a pear tree that has got lots of fruit one year and very little the next, then lots again. Could be many environmental factors especially at flowering that may have an effect, or the birds can pick the young fruit, hope it will recover next year!

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