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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
Arrington)

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

Ingredients:

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 berries.

1-3/4 cups heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

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 Feb. 18:

It's wet to start the week. When you do get outside, between or after storms, concentrate on damage control:

* Keep storm drains and gutters clear of debris.

* Clean up tree debris knocked down by wind and rain.

* Where did the water flow in your garden? Make notes where revisions are necessary.

* Are any trees leaning? See disturbances in the ground or lawn around their base? Time to call an arborist before the tree topples.

* Dump excess water out of pots.

* Indoors, start peppers, tomatoes and eggplant from seed.

* Lettuce and other greens also can be started indoors from seed.

* Got bare-root plants? Put their roots in a bucket of water until outdoor soil dries out. Or pot them up in 1- or 5-gallon containers. In April, transplant the plant, rootball and all, into the garden.

* Browse garden websites and catalogs. It’s not too late to order for spring and summer.

* Show your indoor plants some love. Dust leaves and mist to refresh.

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