I don’t know much about British desserts, but I do like their names — Spotted Dick, Eton Mess, and then of course the Fruit Fool, which is what I ended up making today. It’s actually a Cherry Fool which combines lightly cooked cherries with brown sugar sweetened whipped cream and honeyed almonds.
This Cherry Fool is from Whole Foods via Food52 where its submitter commented that she’d like to serve it at her wedding. The recipe makes four individual servings, but it halves nicely if you only need two. What’s unique about it (other than the cherries) are the honeyed almonds and the brown sugar. Almonds are tossed with honey and baked until golden brown and crispy, then scattered over the cherry swirled brown sugar sweetened whipped cream.
This is an easy dessert that’s perfect for hot “cherry season” days, but it does involve turning on the oven. Almonds are cooked at 400 for about 5 minutes. Keep an eye one them so they won’t burn! Also, don’t make them when you are hungry or you might not have any left for the fool.
As for the cherries, they are very lightly cooked in a saucepan. The cooking process is really just to help them release their juices and should take 5 minutes at the most. Almond extract is essential in my opinion, and I recommend adding it after taking the cherries off the heat so that it won’t evaporate.
If you try this fool or have recommendations for another similar recipe, let me know.
- 1/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 heaping cup pitted fresh sweet cherries
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat (if you have one) or parchment paper or nonstick foil.
- In a small bowl, coat nuts with honey and spread on the lined tray. Bake 5 to 10 minutes, until golden. Allow the nuts to cool and then break into pieces.
- In a small saucepan, combine cherries, lemon juice, sugar and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until cherries begin to break down and release their juices -- about 5 minutes. Juices will not really thicken much because there isn't any cornstarch.
- Remove from heat, transfer to a small bowl and then stir in the almond extract. Place bowl in a larger bowl of ice water, and stir mixture occasionally until cold.
- In a separate bowl, combine cream, brown sugar, and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form; fold in 1/3 cup of the cherry sauce. Combine, but not fully -- there should be beautiful cherry streaks running through the fresh cream.
- Divide among four dessert dishes, and spoon remaining cherries over tops.
- Garnish with the honey almonds.