Saturday, 25 July 2009
For three weeks I've been picking raspberries. There is just a small patch of canes in our garden and each time I pick, often twice a day, I have at least 6 cups of berries, so my refrigerator is filling up fast. I am eating them plain, with delicious sheep's milk yogurt and I’ve made two summer puddings, more about them later. Today I've decided to make a fool. This is perfect dessert when you have an excess of fresh berries and it doesn't matter if they are squished or very ripe as you just crush the fruit and mix it with sugar and cream.
Many people believe that the word fool came from the French fouler meaning to crush or press, but it's not true. Fools are a very English dessert and name is a nonsense name like trifle. Fool suggests a light, frivolous dessert, perfect for a summer evening. Whatever the origin of its name, fool is simple and delicious.
I started with two generous cups of very ripe berries that I mixed with some sugar and let them macerate for an hour or so. Then I put the berries through the finest grill of my moulin (French food mill). You could push them through a fine sieve or just mash them but I like to remove most of the seeds. While edible, the seeds always end up stuck in my teeth, just like poppy seeds. Check the sweetness of your purée and add some icing/confectioner's sugar to sweeten to your taste. The icing sugar has cornflour so it helps thicken the purée. Now add a squeeze of lemon, or a pinch of salt, just to intensify the flavour and chill again. Meanwhile, whip about 325ml (1 1/2 cups) of whipping cream and then gently fold the two together but not too much, you want to a marbled effect. Now spoon the mixture into individual dishes or a serving bowl and chill until ready to serve.