Celebrate the arrival of fresh spring berries – on special this week at your neighborhood Brookshire’s – with this deceptively simple berry dessert, called a fool.
A fool is a traditional British dessert of sweetened whipped cream, layered with pureed berries. Here, we’ve used both strawberries and raspberries, and added a bit of crunch with crushed graham crackers, to create a grown-up parfait. (And everybody likes parfaits!)
It’s a little bit of work, but totally worth it for a dessert to wow company, or for your special Valentine next week.
2 quarts strawberries, washed, dried, and stemmed
1 pint raspberries, washed and dried
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 graham crackers, finely crushed
6 sprigs fresh mint leaves
1. Process 1 quart strawberries, 1/2pint raspberries, and 1/2 cup sugar in food processor until mixture is completely smooth. Strain berry puree through fine-mesh strainer into 4-cup liquid measuring cup (you should have 2 1/2 cups puree; reserve any excess for another use). Transfer 1/2 cup puree to small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over top; stir until gelatin is incorporated and let stand at least 5 minutes.
2. Heat remaining 2 cups puree in small saucepan until it begins to bubble. Remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture until dissolved. Transfer gelatin-puree mixture to medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
3. Meanwhile, chop remaining 1 quart strawberries into rough 1/4” pieces. Toss strawberries, remaining 1/2 pint raspberries, and 2 tablespoons sugar together in medium bowl. Set aside.
4. Place cream, sour cream, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a mixing bowl and beat on low speed until bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and continue beating until beaters leave trail, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to high; continue beating until mixture has nearly doubled in volume and holds stiff peaks. Transfer 1/3 cup whipped-cream mixture to small bowl and set aside.
5. Remove thickened berry puree from refrigerator and whisk until smooth. With mixer running at medium speed, slowly add two-thirds of puree to whipped-cream mixture; mix until incorporated. Using spatula, gently fold in remaining thickened puree, leaving streaks of puree.
6. Transfer uncooked berries to fine-mesh strainer; shake gently to remove any excess juice. Divide two-thirds of berries evenly among 6 tall parfait or sundae glasses. Divide creamy berry mixture evenly among glasses, followed by remaining uncooked berries. Top each glass with reserved plain whipped-cream mixture. Sprinkle with crushed crackers and garnish with mint sprigs. Serve immediately.