Strawberries are best served up without a lot of fuss, but a little rosewater doesn’t hurt!
Strawberry season in New England marks the true beginning of the summer. We look forward to the beautiful sweet treats we can now enjoy by the pound and not by just the ounce. Only when they are in season so we entertain the idea of strawberry soup, strawberry preserves, or a big batch of strawberry/rhubarb crisp.
They are sweet, they are colorful, and lend themselves to the easiest of desserts possible. Cut them up, sprinkle with a bit of sugar, and serve with a pour or a dollop of cream, crème fraîche, or plain yoghurt. Flavor your topping with vanilla, orange liquor, or even a lovely splash of limoncello.
In just a few minutes, you can have a dessert worthy of a dinner party, brunch, or even a quick snack.
A fruit or berry fool is a traditional English dessert consisting of puréed berries swirled into a soft custard. The custard may be the tradition, but the trend has been toward a simpler preparation using whipped cream. Often the fruit/cream mixture is swirled into plain cream for eye appeal.
The scent and the beauty also herald summer, so I thought a wisp of rosewater would add a bit of interest and mystery
I’ve added a couple of twists, but nothing too dramatic. A bit of crème fraîche mixed into the fruit lends a tangy element to the dessert. Making an appearance this week in my garden were my first roses! The scent and the beauty also herald summer, so I thought a wisp of rosewater would add a bit of interest and mystery –– “hmm, what is that flavor?” Just a few drops, add a little, taste, then add more if you like. Rosewater varies greatly in intensity, so it is difficult to give an absolute measurement. Also, some people may no like it at all, so it can easily be omitted.
Of course, you can use any berry or mix of berries in this dessert.
Strawberry & Rose Fool
You will create layers and swirls of berries and cream, and there is no right or wrong way to do this. Just play with it and make it appetizing to your own eyes.
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
4 ounces crème fraîche, room temperature
2 cups whipped cream, divided
Few drops rosewater
Slice strawberries and sprinkle with sugar. If your berries are tart, you might need to add a little more sugar, so adjust according to the day and the berry. Set aside for 15 minutes to macerate.
Mash your strawberries. You want to leave some texture, but no large chunks of berry. A fork works well, but you can also use a masher.
Add just a touch of rosewater. Start with a few drops and add a couple more if you like after tasting. This is your berry mixture.
Place one-third of the berry mixture in a small bowl and add the crème fraîche. Mix well. This is your crème fraîche mixture.
In the bottom of your dessert dishes, place a good dollop of the berry mixture. Add a layer of the crème fraîche mixture, then a layer of whipped cream. Swirl more of the berry mixture in and around until it is to your liking. This is the best of playing with your food!
Top with whipped cream and garnish with a strawberry if you like.
Serves four to six depending on appetite and size of dessert dishes!
If you would like to make your own homemade crème fraîche, it is not hard at all. My instructions here.
No-Guilt Strawberry Fool
Make this as above, but substitute non-fat, plain Greek yoghurt for the cream and crème fraîche. You can sweeten the berries with just a touch of honey or agave syrup if yo like, but it is not essential. Top with a few nuts for crunch.
This version tastes remarkably similar to the full-fat version, and you can have it for breakfast without any guilt at all! It is my favorite breakfast this time of year.
© Copyright 2019 – or current year, Dorothy Grover-Read, The New Vintage Kitchen.
I completely agree, Dorothy: strawberries speak to me of summer; of long, sunny days and balmy evenings. In London, it is currently raining, but we are holding out hope that warmer weather is just around the corner and in the meantime I’m going to make your Strawberry & Rose Fool, in the hope that summer heeds my call.
I hope you get some sun! We have had one of the coldest and wettest springs in recent memories and everything is late. Many farmers haven’t been able to plant yet because of it. This is our third day of sunshine (although our nights have been unseasonably cold) and we are all jumping for joy! Having the fool will transport you to summer, even if it is raining!
The rain in London continues, alas – but the strawberries I’m currently eating are making me smile.
Alas, the rains have returned here too. But I have a bowl of strawberries on the counter, so life is good!
I found some lovely strawberries yesterday and I think I might just try this out. I don’t really care for custards, so I think I might like this cream version.
I’ll eat strawberries in any form when they are in season!
this sounds so tasty dorothy. it is the start of strawberry season here in queensland now that it is winter, so there are lots of them around. and rosewater goes beautifully with sweet fruit. cheers sherry
Thanks for stopping by! When we start to get strawberries, we know the weather has really turned. I mark the seasons by food: strawberry season, tomato season, corn season…
Our strawberries are done now but this looks delicious!
Thank you. Our strawberries were late this year, so we are lucky to have them longer!
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