Creamy, smooth, cold, sweet, fruity, light, airy, white, and bright red… Let’s see, how many more adjectives can I come up with to describe this incredibly simple dessert?
Fundamentally, a fool is effortless to prepare: just fold together a bit of syrupy fruit with custard or whipped cream. This dessert originates in England; the even-more-easy relative of the classic English trifle. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a fool served in a restaurant. Perhaps most chefs scoff at the sweet treat, fearing it plain or inadequate. What a shame, as I think that the fool is perfectly delicious in its simplicity.
I’m certainly a fruit-aholic, and love dreaming of new ways to incorporate my favorite berries and other fruits into baked goods and cakes. Shortcakes topped with syrupy strawberries, summer peaches buried under a layer of cinnamon crumble, the rich pumpkin filling in a perfect autumn pie. Yes, yes, and yes – I love it all! These desserts are perfect in their union of fruit, spices, and pastry. But sometimes, these complex combinations are more than we need.
The fool simplifies our favorite fruit desserts down to only a couple of ingredients. For this iteration, I used a basket of perfectly ripe spring strawberries. I paired the red berries with lightly sweetened, whipped coconut cream for an easy vegan treat. Try whipping up this fool for a quick dessert, or serve it at your next dinner party – the dish may be simple, but it’s still impressive in its tastiness!
Strawberry Coconut Fool
Makes 4 servings
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar, divided
- 1 can coconut cream, chilled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch salt
- sliced strawberries and toasted coconut, for garnish
- In a small bowl, combine strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar. Mash slightly with a fork, then let sit for fifteen minutes.
- Meanwhile, spoon thickened coconut cream from the can into a bowl. Reserve the remaining coconut water for another use.
- Whip coconut cream with a whisk until stiff. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, vanilla, and salt and whip to combine.
- To assemble, divide cream among four bowls or small mason jars, alternating with spoonfuls of the mashed strawberries. Swirl with a fork, though don’t combine fully.
- Serve topped with strawberry slices and toasted coconut, if desired.