THEY brought out the scales again today for one of Yorkshire’s oldest and most traditional competitions: the search for the biggest gooseberry in Egton Bridge.
Since the show was established in 1800, finding the heaviest gooseberry has become an annual tradition in the North York Moors village.
The same set of scales has been used since 1935 to weigh gooseberries in Drams and Grains, a system originally based on the weight of a grain of barley.
Only members of Egton Bridge Old Gooseberry Society can enter berries into the competition. Gardeners enter their biggest gooseberries into one of four classes: red, yellow, greens and white. This year Graeme Watson scooped the top prize with his a gooseberry weighing 26 Drams and 16 Grains.
Gooseberry fairs were common in Yorkshire until the first world war, and the Egton Bridge event is one of the few to survive.
AND HERE’S HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT CRUMBLE...
• Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.Toss the gooseberries in 85g of caster sugar, and spread in the bottom of a medium ovenproof baking dish with 2 tbsp water.
• To make the crumble, put 175g plain flour, 85g of salted butter and a big pinch of salt in a bowl. Rub together until you have a rough breadcrumb texture. Mix in 75g of demerera sugar.
• Scatter the crumble topping evenly over the gooseberries. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until top is pale golden and crunchy and the gooseberries bubbling.