Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Rhubarb Fool

One of the simplest ways to serve any fruit puree is to fold whipped cream into it which has to be the least foolhardy thing one could do. So why is this delicious dessert called a fool? Blame the French word, fouler, which means to mash though this recipe needs no mashing as a brief simmering gets the fruit into a similar state.

The rosebuds are the first for the season!

makes about 1 quart/liter of rhubarb puree
  • Rhubarb, cut into chunks, 6 cups (48 fluid oz)/1420 ml (1.4 L), about 12 stalks
  • Sugar, white, 4 fluid oz/120 ml
  • Water, 4 fluid oz/120 ml
  • Whipped cream, 5-6 heaping T for each serving
  • Cinnamon, ground, for garnishing
  • Optional: a dash of raspberry or grenadine syrup to add some colour, about 1 fluid oz/30 ml
Put the rhubarb, sugar, water and if using, raspberry/grenadine syrup into a saucepan. Simmer while covered for five minutes. Stir a few times. Then uncover and cook, while stirring here and there, for another five minutes. Let cool and store in the fridge or freeze.

From our potager!

For each serving, I used equal amounts of puree and cream. You may want a different proportion of sweet to tart. Spoon the rhubarb first into the dish, then plop the whipped cream on top. Gently fold-in by slipping a spoon under an edge and upturning the rhubarb onto the cream. Turn the bowl as you lightly blend.

Though I am a diehard fan of rhubarb's flavour, I find its tendency to become olive-green once cooked a bit off-putting. A splash of raspberry syrup changed that rather drab colour to one closer to sparkling champagne.

When most of the rhubarb is thinned out into ribbons, dust on the cinnamon.

The Calm One was gallant enough to hoist his serving so I could photograph its marbled effect.

A clear, stemmed glass really shows off this dessert

Outside, the garden has the blues. Bluebells that is...

and irises...

...not to mention lilacs! Setting a vase full of water underneath the lilac bushes in the early morning is one of my great garden joys. I get to take my time as I choose blooms as each will immediately go into the vase. To assist the lilacs to last for several days, use a mallet to smash several inches at the bottom of their stems.

Violet cotton candy!

The second mowing of the season has been done but that doesn't keep the English daisies away for long which is fine by me as they are so dainty and pretty.

All those white dots are daisies!

When selecting irises to cut, choose the ones with many buds.

À la prochaine!

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