You can’t beat a simple fruit fool if you’re looking for a light, refreshing dessert to round off a big meal.
In essence, a fool is simply fruit mixed with cream. But this one’s just that bit more sophisticated, with its added mascarpone, orange blossom water and white chocolate.
The recipe that inspired this lovely dessert was from BBC Good Food.com. I made it first time around as suggested, but found the dessert quite heavy, thanks to a higher ratio of mascarpone to cream. So I switched things around, reducing the mascarpone and increasing the cream content for a much lighter, fluffy result. I also felt the dessert needed a bit of extra sweetness to counteract the tartness of the apricots, so I added in a small amount of melted white chocolate which worked a treat. Finally, while I quite liked the orange liqueur, I subbed in a dash of orange blossom water second time around – I think it matched the lightness of the dessert much better and added a lovely floral note. The suggested amaretti biscuits were a nice touch too, both crumbled over top of the fools and served alongside.
This is definitely a dessert I’ll make again. And, just so you know, you don’t need to wait until apricots are in season to make this. I tried both fresh and canned, and there really wasn’t much difference. Enjoy!
- 500g (17.6 oz) (1.1 lb) ripe fresh apricots, halved and stoned (or use equivalent in drained canned apricots)
- 1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice
- 140g (4.9 oz) golden caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water (or 3 tablespoons Cointreau or Triple Sec)
- 50g (1.7 oz) quality white chocolate
- 200g (7 oz) mascarpone cheese
- 300ml (10.1 fl oz) double cream, divided
- 5-6 amaretti biscuits (1 per serving), plus extra to serve
- Put the apricot halves in a saucepan with the lemon zest and juice and the sugar (if using canned apricots, drain the liquid first). Gently stir the ingredients to combine, then simmer, uncovered, over a medium heat until the apricots are soft. This should take about 10-15 minutes. Take off the heat and let it cool. (At this stage, if you find there is a lot of excess liquid still, you can further drain the mixture in a fine sieve).
- Tip the cooled apricot mixture into a blender or food processor and blend to a purée. Pour the mixture into a bowl, stir in the orange blossom water - as orange blossom water is very potent, start with a quarter teaspoon and taste before deciding whether to add the remaining quarter teaspoon - (or liqueur) and leave to cool completely. You should end up with approximately one cup of puree.
- In a double boiler, melt the white chocolate and 30g (2 tablespoons) of the cream together at the same time. stirring over a low heat. Take it off the element when there are still a few small lumps and continue to stir until it's smooth. Let it cool to room temperature (the added cream allows it to cool without setting hard).
- Take the mascarpone out of the fridge to bring to room temperature, then soften in its tub by whisking it vigorously with a fork.
- Whip the remaining 270g (9.5 oz) cream in a bowl – you want it just softly whipped, not stiff.
- When the chocolate/cream mixture has cooled to room temperature, fold it into the mascarpone with a large metal spoon, then fold in the remaining whipped cream (it can be helpful to add a large spoonful of the cream in first to lighten up the mixture, then fold in the rest). Now, add in the puree (you might like to reserve about a third cup of puree to drizzle over the top, as I did) and lightly swirl in the apricot puree.
- Spoon the mixture into 5-6 serving glasses, crumble one amaretti biscuit over top* and serve. If not serving immediately, store in the fridge (it will keep for up to a day). Serve extra amaretti biscuits alongside, if desired.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting