Sunday, November 8, 2015

Rhubarb Fool with guest author Elizabeth J. Duncan






Please welcome today's guest author, our friend Elizabeth J. Duncan.  A former journalist and college professor, Elizabeth is the author of two mystery series – the brand new Shakespeare in the Catskills and the well-established, multi-award winning Penny Brannigan books set in North Wales. Elizabeth is the 2013 winner of the Bloody Words Light Mystery Award (aka the Bony Blithe), a Canadian national juried award given annually for a light mystery.








Elizabeth  is launching a new series – Shakespeare in the Catskills - featuring costume designer Charlotte Fairfax. And Elizabeth’s dropping by the kitchen today with a little something that might have come right out of Mrs. Shakespeare’s recipe box.  





In Shakespeare’s day, the nobility loved their meat and sweets, while less prosperous folk had to make do with a diet of grains and vegetables. Guess who lived longer?

Anyway, there’s not much call today for suckling pig or roast swan, so we’re making a remarkably easy yet decadent sweet called a fruit fool, which uses just four ingredients. This quintessential English dessert made with a ribbon of stewed or pureed fruit and cream started showing up on Elizabethan tables in 1598, around the time Shakespeare was writing The Merchant of Venice and arranging the financing for the Globe theatre. 

Original versions of the dessert were made with gooseberries, but you could make it with it any fruit. For summer, raspberries or strawberries are lovely, blended with a complimentary flavour of yogurt.
For fall, try folding in an apple/cinnamon blend, or cranberries.

I made mine with frozen rhubarb from my garden. 

When you’ve tasted the fruit fool, you’ll be making much ado over practically nothing!

The rhubarb fool

Two cups rhubarb, fresh or frozen
¼ cup sugar
half cup of whipping cream
Individual serving container plain or vanilla Greek yogurt


Four simple ingredients make a fruit fool

Combine the rhubarb and sugar and cook over medium heat, about eight to 10 minutes, until mixture is soft and stringy, but some pieces remain. Drain and cool, reserving liquid. You can do this in advance.
Whip cream until it forms soft peaks, then gently fold in container of yogurt. Then, gently fold in drained, stewed rhubarb. 



Serve in glass containers, topped with a few spoonsful of the reserved rhubarb liquid and garnish with a sprig of mint (I used springs of rosemary here and that works too).




Enjoy and please come by and say hi to Elizabeth today!  Remember that the delicious debut of An Untimely Death is November 10th.  Don't miss out on this treat.



14 comments:

  1. The cover of the book looks lovely and is very intriguing! I believe I must check it out!

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    1. Hi Jody, I hope you will check it out, and if you do, hope you enjoy it. Cheers.

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  2. The recipe sounds very good! I like that you used rhubarb, I will have to remember it for next spring.

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    1. Hi Elaine, Yes, perfect for spring/summer.

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  3. Welcome, Elizabeth! This is such a lovely recipe - thanks for sharing it!

    Hugs.

    MJ aka Victoria Abbott

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    1. Thank you so much for letting me back in the kitchen! I'll leave it nice and tidy!

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  4. Simple and very adaptable. A good combination.
    Who knew they had Greek yogurt back in Shakespeare's day! ; o)

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    1. Ah well, you caught me out, LIbby. The Greek yogurt was added a few centuries later. Cheers!

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  5. Welcome back, Elizabeth! Your new series sounds fascinating. This is such a wonderful recipe. Something everyone can whip up in no time!

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    1. Hi Krista, It's great to be back in the kitchen. Thanks for having me. Yes, whip is the right word!

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  6. The dessert sounds great, as does the series. I don't have rhubarb, but would love to attempt some other fruit version!

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    1. Thank you Katreader. I hope you will enjoy both!

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  7. Yum! I love stewed Rhubarb & this sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing it! I love you grow your own rhubarb. I want to start growing my own because it's nearly impossible to find in MS. Any suggestions on beginning to grow rhubarb? Be heard to start with plants. I'll probably have to move mine in pots to shade so it won't get too much sun here.

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  8. Hi Pamela. It's very easy to grow and lasts forever. You just have to keep harvesting it. I harvest it all summer and freeze it, and it works really well mixed with apples in the fall in a fruit crisp. Suggest you talk to someone in your local garden centre to get the plant that's right for your area. .

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