What’s more perfect for April Fool’s Day than a delicious fruit fool?
What is a fool, you ask?
A “fruit fool” can be a lot of different things, especially when I’m the one fixing them!
Traditionally, a “fool” is made by combining stewed fruit — usually gooseberries — with a sweet custard sauce. But, who makes custard these days? I don’t. Nor do I stew a lot of fruits. They’re delicious fresh, and probably healthier, too.
My “fools” would more likely be called “parfaits” by some chefs, so to avoid any confusion, I simply use both names and refer to my concoctions as “parfait fools”. Hey, it works for me!
But, back again to what they are and how they’re made.
My parfait fools are layered desserts made with fruit — usually fresh — and some sort of sweet, creamy sauce or pudding. Along with the fruit and cream, I’ll sometimes add in other little goodies. The possibiliites are endless, really.
Today, I’m going to share a few of my favorite combinations, but don’t be limited by what you find here or on any recipe site or cooking blog.
The fun of fixing fools — or parfaits — is in creating your own combinations.
Basically, it’s an example of:
- Take one ingredient from Column A
- Add it to one ingredient from Column B
- Choose one or more goodies from Column C
- Repeat until your glass or bowl is filled
Yes, originally fools were meant to be served in glass bowls, but parfaits are typically served in individual glasses, so take your pick.
Now, for the ingredients!
Column A – Fruits
You can use almost any fruit. Some, such as apples, are best when stewed with a bit of sugar and cinnamon. I almost always use fresh fruit. Great choices are bananas, pineapple, mandarin oranges, peaches, nectarines, kiwis, mangoes, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or mixed berries. Of course, if you want to be extra “fool-ish” you can use more than one fruit. There are no rules, so do whatever suits your fancy.
Column B – Sauce
If you want to use custard, that’s fine. I usually use yogurt since there are so many delightful flavor combinations available. I’ll sometimes used whipped topping, pudding, ice cream, sherbet, or a combination of two or more different “sauce” ingredients. Vanilla pudding is great with any fruit, but be adventurous. Try chocolate pudding with bananas, or pistachio pudding with pineapple. Use lemon yogurt with blueberries. Experiment with plain yogurts, Greek yogurts, and your favorite flavors.
Column C – Goodies
Here’s where the real fun begins. I love adding in a layer of crushed graham crackers, but there are countless other possibilities. Like chocolate? Crush up some Oreos. Or maybe you’ve got a bag of Pecan Sandies that’s nearly gone. Save those crumbs! Toss them into your next parfait fool. Sugar cookies and oatmeal cookies are great, too. But don’t stop with cookies. Grab a bit of coconut. Or a few miniature marshmallows. You can even spoon in a layer of Jell-o or chunks of angel food cake. Finely chopped nuts are good, and sometimes I’ll even sprinkle a bit of wheat germ on top. Of course, it’s fun to decorate the whole thing with a few springs of fresh mint.
My Favorite Fools
As promised, here are a few of my very favorite combinations.
Strawberry Cream Parfait Fools
Make layers using vanilla yogurt and fresh, sliced strawberries. Add in one layer of graham cracker crumbs, top with whipped cream and mint leaves. Since we grow our own strawberries, I make this often for dessert during the summer months.
Patriotic Parfait Fools
Start with a layer of fresh strawberries or red raspberries. Add a layer of vanilla yogurt, vanilla pudding, or vanilla ice cream. Add a layer of fresh blueberries. Or reverse the order. Either way, you come up with a red, white, and blue dessert that’s perfect for Fourth of July celebrations.
Tropical Delight Parfait Fools
Make layers with orange creme yogurt, peaches, mangoes, and kiwis. Top with toasted coconut.
What other “goodies” would you add to a parfait?
I’d love to hear your ideas!