My cookery repertoire is more than smattered with recipes which I can turn to responding to the seasons and the availability of seasonal produce. This is a dessert is a perfect example, one which can be adapted to whichever fruit is in season. Making a fruit compote, poaching or roasting the fruit is the place to start. I wouldn’t add sugar until I have tasted the fruit for natural sweetness. Sometimes it is surprising how little additional sugar is needed when the fruit is in season.
Made ahead, these desserts will sit perfectly in a refrigerator for twenty-four hours before you need to serve, dressing at the last moment.
Early to late Spring is the perfect time for Rhubarb. Tall, slim sticks of peachy pink rhubarb emerge from the soil reaching up to the light unfurling their lime coloured leaves, but not before they have been plucked from the ground. Harvested early like this, the delicate flavour and natural sweetness are sublime.
Begin with preparing the fruit. Rinse, top and tail the stems of rhubarb then cut them into chunks of about 4cm. Lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet or a large dish, sprinkle with a little caster sugar or honey and 50ml of water. Roast in a preheated oven at 170°C for twenty minutes until the pieces are soft but holding their shape.
Lift the rhubarb pieces carefully out of the dish with a slotted spoon, allowing the juice to drain away from the fruit and place it in a separate bowl to cool. Pour the juices into a small saucepan and carefully reduce the liquid until it is syrupy. Allow to cool fully and then transfer to a small jug. Chill until serving.
Whip the double cream to soft peaks and fold in the yoghurt. Reserve a little of the fruit to dress the top of the fool before serving. Fold the rest of the fruit through the creamy base. Now you must taste the fool. You may need to add a little more sugar or honey to sweeten a little more. Fill the serving dishes, small wine glasses are ideal and chill for at least in hour before serving. When you are ready to serve, dress the top of the fool with the remaining fruit and a drizzle of syrup. Serve a crispy ginger biscuit, a brandy snap or a tuile on the side.