In honor of April Fool's Day (and with rhubarb season around the corner) I'm offering up this rhubarb fool. The recipe, adapted from Cook's Illustrated, could hardly be simpler, yet served in some pretty glassware it makes an elegant finale to a meal.
You can go directly to the printable recipe or I'll show you how to make it step-by-step...
4) Pour 8 cups of water into the bowl and let the rhubarb soak for 20 minutes. The folks at Cook's Illustrated suggest this to help take some of the acid out of the rhubarb. I'd be curious to try to recipe without soaking to see if this step really makes a difference. But, since it's easy to do, I've always soaked the rhubarb here.
~ While the rhubarb is soaking, we'll prepare the other ingredients.~
14) Simmer (stirring just 2 or 3 times) 8 to 10 minutes over medium-low heat until the rhubarb is tender and just starts to break apart. You want some rhubarb pieces remaining--not a total puree. Stirring the mixture just a few times during cooking will help keep some pieces intact.
If you were wondering why this dessert is called a fool..
The mind races through the numerous allusions made to fools, from the fool that accompanied King Lear on his howling journey across the moors to the more modern blunderer plaintively asking "What Kind of Fool Am I." But the name of this gossamer dessert comes from the French word foulé meaning pressed or crushed, and refers to the combination of crushed fruits and thick cream. It is a dish that is sublime in its simplicity.
1 lb. fresh rhubarb, ends trimmed and cut into 6-inch lengths
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 cup (plus 1 tablespoon) sugar
a pinch of salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Soak the rhubarb in 8 cups of cold water for 20 minutes. Drain the rhubarb and pat dry. Cut crosswise into 1/2" slices.
- In a medium saucepan combine the orange juice, 1/2 cup sugar, and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil.
- Add the prepared rhubarb to the saucepan. Bring mixture back to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer gently (only stirring a couple of times) for 8 to 10 minutes--just until the rhubarb is tender and starts to break apart. You want some rhubarb pieces remaining--not a total puree.
- Transfer the rhubarb to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture is cold, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
- When ready to assemble the fools, beat the whipping cream and 1 tablespoon of sugar together until the cream forms soft peaks.
- To assemble, spoon about 1/4 cup of the rhubarb mixture in 8-ounce glasses. Top with about 1/4 cup of the whipped cream. Repeat with another layer of rhubarb and whipped cream.
- Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 6 hours.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe! To view more step-by-step recipes, see the complete recipe index.
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