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A fool to love for Valentine’s Day or any time

Recipe: Fresh strawberry fool is light and simple

Strawberry fool
Strawberry fool is a light, easy dessert for
Valentine's Day or any time. (Photos: Debbie

What could be better than berries and cream? Whipping them together into a light-as-air dessert.

Fresh strawberry fool is an early spring take on an English classic. This version is a variation of Nicole Routhier’s excellent fool recipe in her classic “Fruit Cookbook” (Workman Publishing, 1996).

Fools (as in this dessert) have been around for centuries. They’re a no-cook eggless mousse that can be made with a wide range of soft fruit. (Routhier’s fool recipe features super-ripe apricots.)

According to Routhier, “fool” came from the French word foulé, meaning “crushed” or “pressed.” In this recipe, the strawberries are pureed in a food processor, then the pulp is pushed through a fine sieve to remove seeds.

Only partly fold the fruit puree into the whipped cream, so the fool has stripes of color. If fully blended, the whipped cream turns all pink – still pretty, but not nearly as interesting. With its ribbons of strawberries, this creamy dessert also can be spooned into a tall, clear parfait glass – an elegant fool for special occasions.

Fresh strawberry fool

Makes 6 servings


2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar*

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons Cointreau (optional)

Cream in bowl
Leave stripes of color when blending in the strawberries.

1-3/4 cups heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Chill beaters and bowl.

In a food processor, puree strawberries. Push strawberry puree through a fine sieve to remove seeds. Add confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and Cointreau (optional). Set aside.

In the chilled bowl with chilled beaters, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar, whip to blend. Add vanilla. (Be careful not to overbeat or the cream will become like butter.)

With a rubber spatula, partly fold strawberry puree into the whipped cream, leaving stripes of color. Spoon cream-fruit mixture into compote dishes or parfait glasses. Cover and chill for several hours.

Fool in bowl with strawberry
Now that's a sweet Valentine's Day offering.

Garnish with strawberries if desired just before serving.

* Confectioners’ sugar contains cornstarch. May substitute with ½ cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon cornstarch.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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