This fluffy mix of whipped cream and pureed fruit is a classic English treat known as a fool. It is often served in a parfait glass, but it also makes a great topping for angel food cakes. If you’re feeling extra fancy, serve it over graham cracker crumbs in a wine glass and top it with whipped cream. Your guests will surely be impressed.
A few of my favorite things teamed up today in this light, delicate mousse-like parfait. Strawberries, blueberries, yogurt, whipped cream, and graham crackers are all frequent snacks in my diet. But today, I combined them into this silky, smooth English Fool.
Don’t be fooled! This dessert will impress anyone you serve it to.
The concept is simple. Puree strawberries and blueberries in a blender and strain it through a fine-mesh sieve. I do this because I don’t care to bite into the tiny strawberry seeds. I like a smooth, grit-free texture.
The puree gets mixed with gelatin to thicken it. And it must chill for three hours or more. This is the only thing that requires time for the recipe. If you need to, do this step the day before you plan to serve the fool.
Once the puree has thickened, it will go into a whipped mixture of cream, yogurt, and vanilla. I love the slight tang from the yogurt. It pairs nicely with the berries. You can mix it in completely or simply fold it in leaving swirls of berry throughout. That part is up to you!
You’ll want to serve the berry fool immediately. I scooped mine over crushed graham cracker crumbs and topped it with a little extra whipped cream. But it’s great with angel food cake or buttery pound cake as well.
In a food processor or blender, puree the strawberries and blueberries until the mixture is smooth. Strain the berries through a fine-mesh sieve set over a 4 cup measuring cup. You may have to use a spoon or silicon spatula and stir the pulp as it strains to keep the sieve free of clogs. You should get about 2 1/2 cups of puree. Reserve any extra for another use. Transfer the puree to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until it begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the gelatin powder until dissolved. Pour the gelatin puree into a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 3 hours or until cold and thickened.
In a medium bowl, combine the cream, yogurt, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture has doubled in volume and holds stiff peaks. Set aside 1/3 of whipped cream mixture.
Whisk the thickened berry puree until smooth. With the electric mixer turned on low speed, gradually add the berry puree. Optionally, gently fold the puree in with a silicone spatula to achieve swirls.
Divide the graham cracker crumbs evenly among 6 tall parfait glasses. Spoon the creamy berry mixture over the top. Garnish with whipped cream and mint leaves. Serve immediately.
Plan ahead. The berry juice needs time to chill after mixing it with gelatin. Allow yourself a little over 3 hours for this step. This step can also be completed a day before you plan to serve the dessert.
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated.