A fool is a traditional English dessert made by mixing fruit (pureed, mashed or stewed), whipped cream, and sugar. The versatility of the fool makes it fun to create different combinations. You can use various fruits, or sweeten the cream with ingredients such as orange blossom or rose water. It’s a simple dessert perfect for impromptu dinner parties and the combination of fresh picked berries and cool whipped cream offers a refreshing treat for small, outdoor gatherings evoking all that is great about summer.
Getting the family involved in creating the fools via berry picking will make this treat a lasting summer memory for everyone. Here are five tips for making the most of your berry-picking trip.
1. Pack sunscreen, hats, and water. Dress appropriately, in clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty. Kids can wear their rain boots, especially if the ground is recently wet.
2. Bring your own bags, baskets, containers, etc. If space allows, a small wagon is fun for the kids to pull. Farms may provide plastic buckets for you to pick fruits but you need to have something to bring them home!
3. Arrive early to beat the crowds, and the heat. Make sure to call the farm ahead of time to confirm hours of operation.
4. Do a little bit of research on the best methods for picking your fruit and recognizing what the fruit looks like when it is ripe for picking.
5. Always make sure to check on the under leaves of bushes — sometimes the ripest treasures hide underneath.
To make the Triple Berry Fools; in a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups olallieberries (you can also substitute blackberries), 2 cups strawberries (stemmed, hulled and quartered), 1 cup blueberries, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, juice from one lemon, and about 2 tablespoons of water. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until juices are released, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer compote to a bowl and allow to cool.
In a mixer with whisk attachment (or regular bowl, using a handheld mixer), combine 3 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, and 4 tsp vanilla extract. Beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in about 1/2 of the compote with a rubber spatula until just incorporated. Fill dessert bowls with mixture; top with remaining compote. Serve immediately or chill in the fridge until ready to serve. This recipe makes 8 bowls.
Styling and photography by Athena Plichta for a subtle revelry.
PS. Here is a listing of all U-pick farms by area of the country if you’d like to plan a trip.