Strawberry fool
Strawberry fool (Photo by Kenny)

No foolin' about this dessert

There actually is a type of dessert called a "fool," originally a fruit and custard concoction but nowadays usually based on whipped cream. A fool is similar to a parfait; some would say that some parfaits are the same thing as a fool. No matter what you call it, this is a simple, delicious, and gorgeous dessert to end a meal.

There are endless ways to vary this recipe, simply by substituting different kinds of fruits and flavorings. Raspberries and Chambord or Crème de cassis is an obvious one. Ripe, juicy peaches and bourbon would be a good combination.

This is also a recipe that can be easily halved (but why would you want less fool, Fool!) or doubled for a big crowd.

Servings: 8 generous

Prep

 

  • 48 oz fresh strawberries

Wash the strawberries and drain in a collander.

Set aside 4 nice whole strawberries to use as garnish.

Hull all the remaining berries and slice into chunks. You want the pieces big enough that you can still see what they are, but not so big that they will be an entire bite in themselves.

Macerated strawberries

  • Half of the strawberries
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Grand Marnier (optional)

Put the berries in a medium bowl and add the sugar and liqueur. Other liqueurs may be used instead of Grand Marnier, or omitted entirely.

Chill, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes until the berries have released some of their juices.

Strawberry compote

  • Half of the strawberries
  • 3 Tbsp sugar

  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Put the berries in a medium saucepan and add the sugar. Cook over a medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the berries have softened and slightly thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Strawberries contain pectin, a natural thickener.


Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Chill completely before using, about an hour.

Assembly

  • 2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp Grand Marnia (or vanilla)
  • Strawberry compote (above)

  • Macerated strawberries (above)

  • Biscotti crumbs (or other crunch)
  • Half a reserved strawberry
  • Mini-biscotti cookies

Whip the cream to soft peaks, adding the Grand Marnia (or vanilla) just at the end.

Fold the yogurt into the whipped cream. Greek yogurt gives it a bit of tang and adds body to the whipped cream.

Fold the chilled strawberry compote into the whipped cream.


Spoon a dollop of the whipped cream mixture into the bottom of a glass (or wine glass with a big bowl, or parfait glass, or goblet, or other clear container).

Add a spoonful of the strawberry compote.

Add another layer of whipped cream mixture.

Repeat the layering if desired, alternating whipped cream mixture with the compote.


Top the final layer of whipped cream with a sprinkling of crushed biscotti or other cookies (vanilla wafers, ginger snaps, lady fingers, etc).

Cut one of the reserved strawberries in half and snuggle it into the top.

Cover and chill.

Just before serving, tuck a little biscotti (or a piece of a regular biscotti) into the side of the glass.


Credits: Adapted from SeriousEats.com


Published 4/2/2017. Last updated 4/2/2017

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