Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rhubarb Fool

Jennie June's American Cookery Book [1870]

I may have neglected to mention this before, but I love cream. So much. If you enjoy cream a tenth as much as I do, you will love fools. No no, the desserty kind. A fool is a fruit sauce folded into cream (whipped or unwhipped) or custard. For this recipe, I chose to replace gooseberries with rhubarb.

RHUBARB.—This is one of the most useful of all garden productions that are put into pies and puddings. It was comparatively little known till within the last twenty or thirty years, but it is now cultivated in almost every British garden. The part used is the footstalks of the leaves, which, peeled and cut into small pieces, are put into tarts, either mixed with apples or alone. When quite young, they are much better not peeled. Rhubarb comes in season when apples are going out. The common rhubarb is a native of Asia; the scarlet variety has the finest flavour. Turkey rhubarb, the well-known medicinal drug, is the root of a very elegant plant (Rheum palmatum), coming to greatest perfection in Tartary. For culinary purposes, all kinds of rhubarb are the better for being blanched. -Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management

Gooseberry Fool
Put into a deep dish some green gooseberries, a quart or more if desired, after baking them in the oven until quite soft [I simmered on the stovetop], pulp them through a colander and add pounded sugar to taste. When it is cold, mix in a gill* of cream to each quart of berries, and serve in a glass dish.

Verdict: Another triumph of an extremely short list of simple ingredients. Rhubarb, sugar, cream. Yum. The cream mellowed the rhubarb a little bit, rendering it even more delicious than before. Such an easy dessert! And so tasty. Plus, it is attractively pink. Now go! Try this with whatever fruit your heart fancies! I'm sure it will be fantastic, because you made it.

*5 oz.


Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

Welcome to the group, Jana, and thank you for linking to Vintage Recipe Thursday. I added the link you left in the VRT homepage comments to the weekly linky so everyone can find your post.

Despite their strange name, Fools are very tasty. Glad you linked it. :-)

Nonna Beach said...

I pity the fool who doesn't love rhubarb...if you have enough of it, you can make a long list of ways to cook, bake, deep fry etc. just like Forrest Gump & Bubba did with shrimp !!!

Jana said...

I would very much like to see a rhubarb gumbo!

~~louise~~ said...

I've never been able to warm up to rhubarb but as far as fools go, anything but an old fool will do!

Now, where's that post I did on Jennie June?

Thanks for sharing, Jana...

Jana said...

Aw, give rhubarb another chance! As many chances as it takes. :D For those who truly have a hard time with rhubarb, a fantastic drink can be made with its sweetened juice mixed with Sprite. It is lovely and pink.

South Bay Ladies' Tea Guild said...

I made strawberry fool at least a year ago. Strawberries, cream and sugar, and also a lovely pink color. Mmmm! I think I need to make it again. Thanks for the reminder!

Jana said...

Most welcome! Strawberries and real cream are an incomparable delight.

Sherrie said...

I'm not really fond of rhubarb, but this does sound yummy. Have a great day!

Food for Thought

Jana said...

Thanks! Fools can be made of lots of things, not just rhubarb.