Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Summery Recipe : A Rhubarb Fool

         I have made this yummy summer recipe only a few  times, but every time I serve it is met with rave reviews.  I first found the recipe on a Canadian cooking show nearly 10 years ago.  I wrote down the recipe quickly on a slip of paper and added it to my recipe scrap book.  I have no idea the name of the show, the name of the chef on the show or what year I wrote it down. I guess it really doesn't matter.  All that matters is that IT IS GOOD!

The chef on the TV show called it a "Rhubarb Fool." So this is what I have called it all long. Now is that the right name???I am not sure.

 fool (obsolete spelling foole) is an English dessert. Traditionally, a fruit fool is made by folding pureed stewed fruit (classically gooseberries) into sweet custard. Modern fool recipes often skip the traditional custard and use whipped cream. 

My recipe definitely uses pureed stewed fruit and is stirred into sweet whipped cream.
However, my recipe also has the addition of egg white meringue.
So, according to my friend's very British mother, I actually made an "Eton Mess."

An Eton mess is a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries, pieces of meringue and cream, which is traditionally served at Eton College's annual cricket game against the pupils of Harrow School An Eton mess can be made with many other types of summer fruit, but strawberries are regarded as more traditional.

Regardless of the name you give it, give this recipe a try.  You won't regret it!!

To make the meringue:

1. In the bowl of your electric mixer, whip 4 large egg whites until foamy and frothy.

2.  Stir in 1/4 tsp cream of tartar.

3. Gradually add in 1 cup of white sugar until the mixture forms stiff peaks.  

4. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
(Note: The meringue is done when it holds stiff peaks and when you rub a little between your thumb and index finger it does not feel gritty. If it feels gritty the sugar has not fully dissolved so keep beating until it feels smooth between your fingers.)

5.  Spread the mixture on a parchment or tinfoil lined cookie sheet.  Spread it until it is less that 1/2 thick.

6.  Bake the meringue for 3 hours at 200 degrees Celcius.  Turn it once an hour.  The meringue is done when it is dried the whole way through .

To prepare the fruit:

1. Put 4 cups chopped rhubarb,  2 tbsp honey, the juice and zest of 1 orange, 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger and 1 tsp vanilla into a medium saucepan.  

2. Stir to combine, then cover and cook, stirring every few minutes for 10 minutes, until the mixture has come to a boil and the rhubarb has softened.

To prepare the whipped cream:

1.  Using your electric mixer, whip 2 cups of whipping cream until it is frothy and thick. Do not overmix or you'll end up with butter! Stir in 1/2 cup icing sugar.

To make the desserts:

1. Break the meringue into small pieces.

2.  In your serving dishes, layer the three mixtures in a visually pleasing manner.  I always try to save some meringue to sprinkle on top.

This recipe could probably make 6 average sized desserts.  I managed to make only 4, but they were really big!!

Sometimes bigger IS better!!

I am planning on making this recipe once more this summer.  I may go with the traditional strawberry puree instead of the rhubarb.  I am sure it will be equally as scrumptious as my previous batch!

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Hugs to all and thank-you for all of your sweet comments!



  1. It looks delicious and very much like an Eton Mess ... yummy :)

  2. Now, this does look like a delicious Eton mess and I am now salivating at the prospect of making this tomorrow. I love the different textures to this dessert, and it's perfect for a summer's day. xx

  3. YUMMY!! Going to make this next week, I have a surplus of rubarde in my yard, having friends for dinner, the perfect dessert! Thanks!!! S.T.


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