I pity the fool

I researched a variety of rhubarb recipes this week to decide what to do with the remainder of my bounty and opted to try something entirely new to my food repertoire: a fool.  I had heard of this dessert before but did a little research and discovered it involves pureed fruit and whipped cream and that it originated in England back in the 17th century.  Huh.  Must be something to it if people are still eating it four centuries later!

It’s super simple to make.  You start by boiling chopped up rhubarb, honey, orange zest, orange juice, a vanilla bean, and candied ginger.  Then you whip up some heavy cream with a little sugar and blend the two together.

 This lovely mixture then gets spooned into individual serving dishes (I used ramekins, but it would be lovely to serve in fancy glass coffee cups or the like) and chill.  This is totally one of those recipes that seems like it took a lot of time to make but it totally didn’t.  I could see it being majorly impressive at your next dinner party.  And you could make it with a variety of fruits.  Impress away!

Rhubarb Fool (from www.epicurious.com)

  • 1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 4 cups or 1 pound prepped)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

To make the fool, put the rhubarb, honey, orange zest and juice, candied ginger, vanilla bean, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine, then cover and cook, stirring every few minutes, for 10 minutes, until the mixture has come to a boil and the rhubarb has softened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then remove the vanilla bean. Transfer the compote to a bowl, and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes, until very cold.

Whip the cream and sugar until soft peaks form, either by hand or using an electric mixer on medium speed. Set aside 1/3 cup of the compote to garnish the dessert, then fold the remaining compote into the whipped cream. Spoon the fool into six 1/2-cup glasses or dishes and chill for 1 hour before serving topped with the remaining compote.

Storage: This fool is best served the day it is made, but any leftovers can be covered with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.