Fools Are Super Easy Desserts
Fools are the easiest of desserts to prepare (link), being a simple combination of whipped cream and mashed fruit, and they lend themselves particularly well to summer fruits, like berries. Here, strawberries take center stage. As with any dessert that has so few ingredients, make sure to use the best that you can. Heavy cream from a local dairy or at least cream that is not ultra-pasteurized will give you the freshest dairy flavor. And the berries can be found at the farmer’s market or even consider picking your own at a roadside farm. Read about fools in general and you will be set up to make them even without a recipe.
- 12 ounces strawberries, hulled and halved
- Extra berries for garnish (optional)
- ¼ cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Have ready 6 clear dessert bowls or wine goblets.
- Place 12 ounces of berries in a bowl, toss with ¼ cup of sugar and allow to sit for 15 minutes or until fruit exudes some juice. Mash with a potato masher or sturdy fork; you want to break them down but leave some texture. Chill well, at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- Right before serving whip the cream with reserved 1 teaspoon sugar and the vanilla just until soft peaks form.
- Fold the fruit and cream together, but not too thoroughly. You want there to be pretty pinkish-red streaks of fruit. Carefully spoon into goblets, garnish with extra slices of berries if using, and serve immediately.
- Berries must have good flavor. There is no point making a fool out of season. This is about the berries and the cream. Taste the fruit before buying, if you can.
- When whipping the cream, stop early to check. You want to preserve the silky smooth texture of softly whipped cream. If you dip a spoon into the whipped cream and withdraw it, the cream should gently mound over on itself. It will peak, but barely. The peaks might flop over a bit. This is perfect!
Image: Dédé Wilson