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Raspberry Rhubarb Fool

Raspberry Rhubarb Fool
Rhubarb grows in thick, celerylike stalks and has a tart, fruity flavor. Field rhubarb is available in summer and is a bright cherry red. Its flavor is more pronounced than that of hothouse rhubarb, which is a brilliant pink and is usually available year-round. Select crisp, unblemished, brightly colored stalks. To avoid a stringy filling, always slice the rhubarb no thicker than 1/2 inch. For this recipe, it is chopped even finer.

Ingredients:

For the raspberry puree:

  • 1 1/2 cups raspberries
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 4 or 5 stalks rhubarb, about 1 lb. total,
      trimmed and cut into 1⁄8-inch pieces
  • 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream, preferably not
      ultrapasteurized
  • 1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

To make the raspberry puree, in a food processor or blender, puree the raspberries until smooth. Add the lemon juice and salt. Add the granulated sugar to taste and puree again until well blended. Strain into a bowl through a medium-mesh sieve to remove the seeds, pressing the mixture with the back of a spoon to push it through. The puree may be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Prepare an ice bath by partially filling a sink or large bowl with ice water. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the rhubarb, 1/2 cup water, the granulated sugar and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is soft, 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the rhubarb into a large bowl. Set the bowl in the ice bath to cool, stirring occasionally. Once the mixture has come to room temperature, refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.

Put the raspberry puree in a large bowl and stir in the cream and confectioners sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until soft peaks form when the beater is lifted.

Spoon half of the rhubarb into 4 goblets or dessert cups. Layer half of the raspberry cream on top of the rhubarb. Spoon the remaining rhubarb on top of the cream, then top with the remaining raspberry cream. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Serve cold. Serves 4.

Note: A fool is a traditional English dessert, usually made from pureed fruit combined with whipped cream.

Serving Tip: To serve this dessert in tall, narrow glasses, put the rhubarb and the raspberry cream in separate pastry bags and pipe into the glasses using a large, round tip.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Fruit Dessert, by Carolyn Beth Weil (Simon & Schuster, 2004).