The dessert has nothing to do with foolishness: the name is derived from the French word fouler, meaning to crush.
500 g apples, rhubarb, plums or gooseberries
½ cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons water
2/3 cup pouring cream
1 egg yolk
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
1¼ cups thickened cream
2 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts, to decorate (optional)
Fresh or sugared flowers, to decorate (optional)
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Directions Preparation:20min › Cook:20min › Extra time:3hours › Ready in:3hours40min
Prepare the fruit accordingly: peel, core and slice apples; trim and chop rhubarb; halve and stone plums; top and tail gooseberries.
Put the prepared fruit in a saucepan with three-quarters of the caster sugar (6 tablespoons) 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 2 tablespoons sugar. Gradually pour in the hot cream, whisking constantly.
Place the bowl of custard 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 the spoon. Take care not to overheat it or it may curdle. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and stir in the vanilla essence. Cover the surface closely with cling film 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 glasses and chill for 2 hours. To serve, sprinkle with pistachio nuts or decorate with ﬂowers. Serve with homemade shortbread ﬁngers.
BERRY OR STONE FRUIT FOOL • To make the fool with soft fruits, you can use 2 punnets strawberries, raspberries or blackberries; or 500 g skinned, stoned and sliced peaches or apricots; or 500 g pitted cherries. • Put the prepared fruit in a bowl and, depending on its sweetness, sprinkle with about ¼ cup of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Leave to macerate for 30 minutes. • Purée the macerated soft fruit in a food processor or electric blender. If using strawberry, raspberry or blackberry purée, pass it through a ﬁne nylon sieve into a bowl to remove the seeds before mixing with the custard and whipped cream.