How to Make a Fool (Out of Fruit, Not Yourself)

Easy Fruit Fools

strawberries and cream

Fools are an English dessert that very simply combine fruit and cream. Older English texts describe a more involved dessert with the addition of eggs and flavorings, such as lemon peel, wine or spices. Gooseberry fool was quite popular, but that is a hard-to-come-by fruit for most and luckily, the technique of folding together sweetened fruit puree and lightly whipped cream lends itself to all kinds of other fruit, particularly berries.

This are an easy recipe, exemplified by this simple description found in an old text for a strawberry fool:

Hull 1 to 1 ½ pints ripe strawberries and sieve them (there is no need to cook them). Stir about ½ cup sugar (or to taste) into the purée, and add a drop or two of lemon juice to accent the flavor. Combine with whipped cream.

Note that the amount of whipped cream is not given. Basically you want a nice balance of cream and fruit, with the pretty color from the fruit swirled – ribboned, if you will – throughout the cream.

You could use a blend of fruit but I think these simple desserts are best showcasing one special fruit when it is at its most ripe. Also, why complicate a dessert that is so easy to put together, even at the last moment after a trip to the farmer’s market? Check out our Strawberry Fool for a more complete recipe.

 Image: Peter Muka

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