When it's good to get fooled

Redcurrant fools

Today is April Fool's Day, when pranksters delight in tricking the unsuspecting. Of course, the public is wary and it is ever more difficult to carry off a great prank (at least without blowback). And with today's headlines, sometimes it is difficult to determine whether a story is a hoax or is just a weird bit of news. (There's a new Vegemite energy drink? Gourmet toast in restaurants is a thing?)

Whether or not you get taken in by an April Fool's joke, today is a great day to revisit a dessert that may date to the 15th century: fruit fools. Typically, fools were composed of a cooked fruit compote folded into a custard, but modern versions often substitute whipped cream for the custard and offer other variations as well. No one is certain where the name fool originated - one theory is that it is a derivation of "the French verb fouler meaning 'to crush' or 'to press' (in the context of pressing grapes for wine), but this derivation is dismissed by the Oxford English Dictionary as baseless and inconsistent with the early use of the word."  Regardless of the origins of its name, fools are wonderful light desserts that can be easily made with frozen fruit, making them as practical as they are delicious.

Some popular fools available online through the EYB library are:

Mark Bittman's Strawberry fool
Rhubarb fool from Rustic Fruit Desserts
Apricot and chocolate fool from Tinned Tomatoes
Redcurrant fool from Waitrose Kitchen Magazine (pictured above)
Gooseberry and elderflower fool from BBC Good Food Magazine
Wheat berry fools with Grand Marnier figs from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals

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