Tag Archives: America’s Test Kitchen

Berry Fool

17 Jun

Fool is an English dessert that dates back to the 16th century. No one is quite sure where the name “fool” came from but given its ease of preparation, I’d put my money that is has something to do with that it’s so easy to make, even a “fool” could do it.

The dish is generally made by mixing pureed fruit, whipped cream and sugar. Old school fool recipes call for gooseberries but since these can be hard to find in the “New Country,” berries are a common substitution.

I made fool for the first time using a recipe that I had watched on “America’s Test Kitchen.” The dish looked so light and delicious, my mouth was watering and I knew I had to make it right away. The timing couldn’t be better since the strawberries at the corner market were only 99 cents a quart! Unfortunately, the raspberries were much pricier ($3.99 for half a pint) so I opted to use mostly strawberries with a hint of frozen raspberries. Not surprisingly – it worked perfectly.

This is a great go-to recipe and I can’t wait to try it with other fruits like mango or blueberries.

Berry Fool

2 pounds of strawberries, washed, dried and stemmed
1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed and drained
1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons of sugar, divided
2 teaspoons unflavored powered gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 Walker’s Shortbread Cookies, finely crushed (about 1/4 cup) (graham crackers or gingersnaps will also work)

Berry Puree
1) Process 1 pound of strawberries, 1 cup of raspberries and 1/2 cup sugar in food processor until mixture is completely smooth, about 1 minute. Strain berry puree through fine mesh strainer into separate bowl.

2) Transfer 1/2 cup of berry puree into a medium bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the top, stirring until incorporated. Let stand at least 5 minutes.

3) Heat remaining puree in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to bubble, about 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into bowl with gelatin mixture. Stir until gelatin is dissolved.

4) Cover surface with plastic wrap and chill mixture for at least two hours.

Macerated Berries
1) Dice remaining berries into 1/4 inch pieces, removing stems. Place in bowl and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Chill for one hour.

Creamy Topping
1) Place cream, sour cream, vanilla and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar in mixing bowl. Beat on low speed, until bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and continue beating for another 30 seconds. Increase speed to high and beat until mixture has doubled in volume and holds stiff peaks, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer about 1/3 cup of cream mixture to a small bowl and set aside.

2) Removed thickened puree from refrigerator and whisk until smooth. With mixer at medium speed, slowly add about two thirds of the berry puree to the whipped-cream mixture. Mix until well incorporated, about 15-30 seconds.

3) Using a spatula, fold in remaining puree into cream mixture, leaving streaks of puree.

Assembly
1) Transfer uncooked berries to a fine-mesh strainer, shaking to remove excess juice.

2) Divide whipped cream-berry mixture evenly among six glasses (rocks glasses or wine glasses work great here). Top with remaining uncooked berries then top each glass with reserved plain whipped-cream.

3) Sprinkle glasses with crushed cookies. Serve immediately.

Serves 6

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