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.