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There is no foolishness about this dessert! Traditional English fruit fools derive their name from the French word 'fouler', meaning to crush. Thank goodness that this word was modified to 'fool', as I don't think too many of us would be keen to be making or eating 'foul' fruits! This recipe is one I have adapted from the Australian publication by Reader's Digest of a book jam-packed with traditional Australian recipes: 'Family Recipe Scrapbook: tried and trusted recipes for today's cooks'. I bought the book in preparation for the 2005 Zaar World Tour, so I could track down familiar recipes I've eaten often or heard of but not previously eaten. What I love about the recipes in this book is that from whatever decade or century past they come, they have been updated to suit C21st tastes. This is a prepare-ahead recipe, and the preparation and cooking times below do not include cooling times. BTW, 500g Australian = 455g Canadian = 1 pound American.
- 500 g apples or 500 g rhubarb or 500 g plums or 500 g gooseberries
- 1⁄2 cup caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2⁄3 cup pouring cream
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1⁄4 cups thickened cream
- 2 tablespoons pistachio nuts, chopped, to decorate (optional)
- fresh fresh edible flowers (optional) or sugared fresh edible flower, to decorate (optional)
- Prepare the fruit according to the type - peel, core and slice apples; trim and chop rhubarb; halve and stone plums; top and tail gooseberries.
- Place the prepared fruit in a saucepan with 3/4 of the caster sugar and the water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the fruit is very soft.
- Meanwhile, to make the custard, bring the pouring cream almost to the boil; lightly whisk the egg and egg yolk in a bowl with the remaining sugar, then stir in the hot cream and vanilla extract; place the bowl over a saucepan of gently boiling water and stir the mixture until it thickens enough to hold a slight trail and thinly coat the back of a spoon lifted out of the custard mixture. TAKE CARE NOT TO OVERHEAT the custard mixture or it may curdle.
- Remove the bowl from the saucepan and cover the surface closely with plastic wrap, right on the surface, to prevent a skin from forming. Allow the custard to cool then chill in the refrigerator.
- Purée the cooked fruit in a food processor or blender, or pass it through a nylon sieve. Chill the purée for at least 1 hour.
- Whisk the cream in a large bowl until it holds soft peaks.
- Combine the custard with the fruit purée and fold it gently into the whipped cream.
- Spoon the fool into tall glass parfait glasses and chill for 2 hours.
- To serve, sprinkle with pistachio nuts or decorate with flowers, and serve with my Shortbreads Recipe #139166.
- Variations: See Soft-fruit Fool Recipe #139165.