Fools are old-fashioned British desserts made from a sweet fruit puree stirred through custard or whipped cream. This simpler cousin of the trifle was mentioned as far back as the 1500s. Traditionally gooseberries are used, so a similarly sour fruit like rhubarb makes a great variation. Serve the fool in glass bowls if you have them, for some extra fanciness.
The dessert is quick and easy to whip up, but is still a showstopper at dinner parties. You can mess around with the sugar, adjusting it to your own taste (and giving a good excuse to sample along the way). To take it up a level, I added a hint of orange blossom water to the rhubarb, which gives it a lovely perfumed scent that is not too overpowering. I also had some gingersnap cookie crumbs on hand, so I threw those in too.
The rhubarb fool is refreshing and cool enough for summertime but rich and comforting enough for winter, and very easy to make ahead!
- 1 lb rhubarb
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ tsp orange blossom water
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
- Wash and chop the rhubarb into 1" pieces.
- Place in a medium saucepan with the 1 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat down and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the rhubarb is cooked through. Stir in the orange blossom water.
- Remove the rhubarb from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.
- In a deep mixing bowl, beat the cream with vanilla and 1 Tbsp sugar until stiff.
- Gently fold the rhubarb into the whipped cream. I like to just stir once or twice so as to keep the rhubarb as ribbons throughout the cream.
- In a pretty glass serving bowl, layer the rhubarb cream with the gingersnap crumbs. Serve immediately! You can also cover the bowl with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 4 hours.