Fruit Fool for April Fools’ Day
April first is deemed April Fools’ Day so I decided to do a fruit fool for April Fools’ Day. Fruit Fools, which are not associated with April Fools’ Day at all, are traditionally made with gooseberries which are quite tart but there is no reason why you shouldn’t use any fruit. Although I am growing gooseberries, they are not common in USA so I figured I would do the fool with strawberries which are readily available and my first strawberries are just ripening.
A fruit fool is basically an enriched custard so starts with a custard base. The fruit puree is added then a mix of creams. My older recipes use about 2 pints of cream which is probably not good for anyone’s cholesterol, so I make mine with just 8 oz. whipping cream, with regular 2% milk for the custard base.
For the Custard Base:
1 egg plus 1 egg yoke
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp. Cornstarch
8 oz milk.
To make the custard:
1: Whip the eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy;
2: Add a little milk to the cornstarch until it makes a slurry;
3: Add the rest of the milk and put into a small saucepan;
4: Add the egg/sugar mix and stir over gentle heat until the custard thickens;
– Note that this seems to stay thin until the last minute when the cornstarch is suddenly warm enough to thicken, so don’t leave it alone for 10 minutes!
For the Strawberry Fool
1 pint fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
1 tbs sugar
8 oz whipping cream
1: In a small saucepan, heat the strawberries with a little water and the sugar;
2: When the strawberries are softened, put them through a coarse sieve;
3: When the custard is cool to touch, add the syrup from the base of the sieve;
4: Chop the strawberry pulp and add to the custard;
5: Whip the cream until it leaves a trail but not peaks;
6: Add the cream to the custard and stir until it is all incorporated;
7: Put the Strawberry Fool into small dishes and decorate with a fresh strawberry piece and a few chocolate shavings.