Look Ma, No Oven! Strawberry Fool

Leave it to the Irish to have a dessert called a fool. Well, leave it to the British, since that’s where the dessert was originally created. Traditionally made with gooseberries, a fool is assembled by mixing whipped cream with crushed fruit, sugar and other flavorings. It’s unclear where exactly the name fool came from, but one thing is certain – this versatile and delicious dessert is foolproof to make (pun intended!). So even if you’re living in a dorm room with no cooking or baking appliances, don’t miss out on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. It may not be green, but a classic fool like this strawberry one is an easy and more traditional way to celebrate this Irish holiday!

Sarah McAnaw is an Irish Jew studying in Haifa, Israel for the semester, where she is looking forward to culture-shocking both her American and Israeli roommates with some good old Irish food and festivities this St. Patrick’s Day.


Strawberry Fool
Adapted from The Bitten Word
Serves 2-3

Note: It is possible to make whipped cream by hand without an electric mixer (it’s an excellent way to vent some pent up frustration), but it’s of course easier and just as acceptable to use store-bought whipped cream. The original recipe also called for crisp lady fingers such Savoiardi as the biscuit of choice, but any kind of tea biscuit works great.

1 cup chopped and hulled fresh strawberries, plus a few whole berries for garnish
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream, or 1 cup store bought whipped cream
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons berry preserves (I used strawberry, but use any kind of berry you like)
5 biscuits, crushed
mint for garnish (optional)

Place chopped strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. Mix the berries and sugar together and let sit for about 20 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the juices from the berries are released.

If making your own whipped cream, beat the cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold the preserves into the whipped cream until blended. Add the strawberries and their juices to the whipped cream mixture and fold until almost blended. Scoop into bowls, garnish with crushed biscuits, whole berries and a sprig of mint, and you’ve got yourself a fool!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Originally posted on Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

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