Saturday, 6 September 2014

A Fool

I should start this post with a one-liner: you'd have to be a fool not to be able to make one... or something.  Fergus Henderson, who is rather more direct, entitles his fool recipe "You Fool" and begins: "Who are you calling a fool?"  Whatever the pun, the fool is quite the easiest and most delicious of fruity puds.  While you can smarten it up with drizzles and jus and marblings, or replace some cream with yoghurt, I think simple is best: a true fool is just whipped cream, fruit and sugar.  To my mind the tarter the fruit the better the fool.  Think: Gooseberry Fool, Rhubarb Fool - the dreamiest of creamy puddings.

This season we are into Damson, Blackberry or Raspberry Fools.  Here is a suitably messy Blackberry and Raspberry Fool.  The raw fruit is macerated in the sugar for a few hours then folded into the whipped cream.  Fergus Henderson's recipe from The Complete Nose to Tail [brilliant, brilliant, brilliant book - every kitchen must have it - where else does tradition meet style so imperiously?!] reads more or less as follows:

200g Fruit - 50g Caster Sugar - 400ml Double Cream.

Lightly cook fruit with half the sugar till juices run, or if very ripe just mix with sugar and crush with fork.  Whip cream with rest of sugar to soft peaks.  Fold in fruit.  Serve with Shortbread.

Yes, shortbread is a super accompaniment to a fool. I follow his recipe for shortbread too, but rather than cutting shapes, press it into a tin and break it at the table.

750g Plain Flour - 500g Butter - 250g Caster Sugar

Half quantities suffice.  Grate the butter into the flour.  Breadcrumb it between the fingers.  Add Sugar.  Press into a tin. Cook about 15 - 20 mins 160 C.  Should be pale but crisp not doughy.

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