Raspberry Fool

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Raspberry fool.  I love it!

But what is fool?

A fool, once referred to as a foole, is an English dessert that was first mentioned back in the late sixteenth century.  Traditionally, a fool is composed of stewed and pureed fruit, whipped cream, and sugar.  Foole was originally made with gooseberries (something I’d love to try), but nowadays it’s generally made with apples or raspberries.  This fool is made with fresh raspberries and yoghurt, resulting in a brighter and fresher fool than its gooseberry and heavy cream counterpart.

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I remember the first time I heard about fool.  It was back in fifth grade when I was taking the IOWA test (a standardized test developed in the state of Iowa).  It was the last day and we were doing reading comprehension; one of the stories was a history of gooseberry fool.  I remember being intensely intrigued by it, but I never really went anywhere with that curiosity.

Five years ago, on my eleventh birthday, I had all my little friends over for a party.  One of my friends gave me an apron (which I still have) and the cookbook that this recipe came from, Healthy Cooking for Your Kids.  My first instinct when receiving the book was to flip to the dessert section, and that’s where I discovered this delightful little recipe.  This was one of the first recipes I made, and it’s the one I’ve made the most for good reason.

The two biggest changes in this fool compared to most is that the fruit is not cooked and the cream is replaced with yoghurt.  Because the raspberries are uncooked, they are able to retain their nutrient profiles that are bursting with vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese among many others.  To keep down the levels of sugar, plain yoghurt is used; its tartness being masked by a touch of agave nectar.  Finally, a beaten egg white is used to give the whole lot some volume.

I strongly encourage you try this recipe.  It’s simple, fresh, and thoroughly refreshing on a long and hot summer day!

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Raspberry Fool

Slightly adapted from Healthy Cooking for Your Kids (no, I don’t have kids; it’s just a good book)

270 g / 2 3/8 cups fresh raspberries, plus extra for garnish*

270 g / 1 cup plain or strained plain yoghurt

1 tablespoon raw agave nectar

1 egg white**

walnut halves, to garnish

fresh mint, to garnish

Put the raspberries in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Pour the puree though a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds, and then fold in the yoghurt and agave.

In a separate grease-free bowl, whisk the egg white until it begins to stiffen (I did do mine by hand, but feel free to use beaters).  Gently fold the beaten egg white into the raspberry yoghurt mixture until no traces of the egg white are visible.  Be sure to do this gently so you don’t deflate them.

Spoon the fool into four individual glasses, cover with plastic wrap, and let chill for at least 3 hours.  Garnish with extra fresh raspberries before serving.

Serves 4

*Frozen, thawed raspberries can be substituted if fresh are out of season.  The resulting fool will just be slightly darker and brighter in colour.

**If you are uncomfortable using raw egg whites, you could substitute some unsweetened whipped heavy cream for a richer, more indulgent fool.

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