Fruit fools involve combining a fruit puree with custard or whipped cream or both, and go back to at least the seventeenth century, if not earlier. Gooseberries are the first of the summer cooking fruits to come into season, and a gooseberry fool makes a delightful and easy summer dessert.
The recipe works equally well with green or red gooseberries, or a mixture.
8 oz (approx 250 g) gooseberries
2 oz (approx 50 g) sugar
1 oz (approx 25 g) butter
5 fl.oz (approx 140ml) double cream
Wash the gooseberries.
Top and tail them (snip off the stalks and the flower ends from the top and bottom of each berry).
Put the gooseberries in a saucepan with the sugar and butter.
Heat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved, then cover the pan and simmer for ten minutes or so until the fruit is soft and starting to break up.
Remove from the heat and crush the fruit with a wooden spoon. You can puree it in a food processor if you like, but I never do. If you don’t like pips, you can sieve the puree, but I never do this either.
Leave to cool.
Taste the gooseberry pulp and add more sugar if wished.
Whip the double cream until stiff.
Stir the gooseberry pulp into the cream.
Divide between four glasses and chill in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight before serving.
If you like larger portions, divide the mixture between two or three glasses instead of four.