25 June 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Fools

The Hood Rivers are here! The Hood Rivers are here! I speak, of course, of the Hood River strawberries, available to us Oregonians for a short period at the beginning of each summer.

We had another movie night with our good friends this past weekend. My fellow foodie friend, Eve-Maridy, was doing a crab boil, so I decided a berry-forward dessert would be a nice ending to our summer feast.
Picking out four perfect berries to top the treats

Unlike the California strawberries usually available to us, these babies are red through and through
I went to the store with the intention of picking up supplies for a strawberry and raspberry Berry Fool after seeing it on a recent episode of America's Test Kitchen. After seeing the price for raspberries and not finding the Hood River strawberries, I changed my plans to make a strawberry rhubarb fool, since rhubarb was cheaper and I knew I had seen something on Cook'sIllustrated.com that would fit the bill.

Let me start by saying I am a firm believer in leaving rhubarb alone. My grandma's pie specialty is rhubarb pie. It was my absolute favorite thing she made when I was growing up (and she made a lot of good desserts). Not knowing how other people felt about it, I figured mixing the two would be safe. As I was getting ready to check up, feeling a little defeated in not finding my precious strawberries, I happened upon the display closer to the front of the store with the perfect ruby red fruit. Phew...crisis averted.

The evening was perfect...complete with great food, wine, and my first viewing of Nightmare on Elm Street.

One of my friends pointed out that from a certain angle, the crab legs looked like Freddy's hand...eerie!

Sad labby just wants some of our food

One of my friends has been off sugar for a couple months, so the rest of us benefited from him not eating his portion. I was feeling full, but not overly stuffed, until I ate all of my dessert. He he...oops.

Definitely not 8 oz glasses...

Happy summer eating!

Strawberry Rhubarb Fool for Two
Cook's Illustrated

1/4 pound fresh rhubarb, trimmed of ends and cut into 6-inch lengths
4 ounces fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled; each berry quartered (about 3 large or 4 small berries) 1 tablespoon orange juice plus 1 additional teaspoon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch table salt
1/2 cups heavy cream (cold)

1. Soak rhubarb in 1 quart cold water for 20 minutes. Drain, pat dry with paper towels, and cut rhubarb crosswise into slices 1/2-inch thick.

2. Measure 1 tablespoon of the sugar and set aside. Bring orange juice, remaining sugar, and salt to boil in medium nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat. Add rhubarb and strawberries and return to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring only 2 or 3 times (frequent stirring causes rhubarb to become mushy), until rhubarb begins to break down and is tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer rhubarb and strawberries to nonreactive bowl, cool to room temperature, then cover with plastic and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour or up to 24.

3. Beat cream and reserved sugar in bowl of small standing mixer or in a medium bowl using a hand-held mixer on low speed until small bubbles form, about 45 seconds. Increase speed to medium; continue beating until beaters leave a trail, about 45 seconds longer. Increase speed to high; continue beating until cream is smooth, thick, and nearly doubled in volume and forms soft peaks, about 30 seconds.

4. To assemble fool, spoon 1/4 of the rhubarb and strawberries into each of two 8-ounce glasses, then spoon in about 1/4 of the whipped cream. Repeat, ending with dollop of cream; serve. Can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 6 hours.


  1. Oh, this reminds me of the chocolate raspberry fools at Rimsky's! I like your graham cracker garnish.

    1. I had never had a fool. At least not of this type. :) It's like pie without the crust.

  2. I love the glasses! And strawberry-rhubarb is my favorite combo. It might even beat peanut butter-chocolate for me. I wish the season was still rolling along.

    1. Thank you! They were a gift from a family friend who passed away. I love them, they are pilsner glasses.

      I really do prefer rhubarb because of the tart flavor, but the combo with the Hood River strawberries really was a hit.