Choose a heavy-based saucepan with a large surface area. Put the topped and tailed gooseberries into it, still moistened by the water in which they have been rinsed. Cover and cook over very low heat until the fruit is perfectly tender. (It does not matter if the berries collapse in cooking here as they will be crushed to a pulp for serving.)
Crush the cooked fruit with a potato masher and cook for several minutes more, without the lid but just stirring occasionally, until most of the juices have evaporated leaving a thick fruit puree. Add caster sugar to taste and stir until melted. Spoon the puree into 8 individual cocotte dishes and leave until cold.
Beat the fromage blanc, quark or yoghurt into the cream until smoothly mixed then whisk until fairly stiff. Spoon the creamy mixture over the cold puree and level the tops. Cover and chill in the freezer for about 45 minutes until the cream firms up.
Dissolve the granulated sugar in 1 tablespoon warm water in a pan placed over low heat. Then turn the heat up and cook until the sugar carmelises to a rich shade of gold. Quickly pour the burnt sugar evenly over the chilled creams and set aside for 20 minutes or so until the caramel sets in thin brittle sheets of gold.
Source: Philippa Davenport in "Country Living" (British), June 1988. Typed for you by Karen Mintzias