Sometimes my mind drifts. I'll be going from one room to another and, once I get to the next room, I can't remember why I'm there. Somehow, after only a few steps, I've slipped into another world. That happened to me today when my mind began to wander back to the days when my mom, sister and I would go strawberry picking. I don't remember every little detail about the experience, but I remember the feelings I had. I remember the warm sun on the back of my neck, probably sun-bleaching the wispy curls that always made their way out of my pony tail or braid. I remember the seemingly endless field strawberry plants with their green leaves and tiny, sweet strawberries just begging to be eaten right then and there, warm from the sun and glistening with the last of the morning dew. And I remember that the days that followed were filled with strawberry eating, cooking, and jam-making.
Then I realized I was standing in a room and I didn't know why. Mind drifted right out the window.
Sometimes my best recipes come from these drifts. That makes them worth it, right? I think so.
Strawberries have been stuck in my head for a few days now and I just had to do something wonderful with them. Something strawberries-and-cream-y. So I made this strawberry fool which is quite literally strawberries and cream. Light, airy whipped cream is streaked with ribbons of fresh strawberries, dolloped in a dish and garnished with a little mint. And it is perfect.
Have you tried a strawberry fool before? Or any kind of fool, for that matter? If you haven't, I think it's time to change that. There are recipes that use different types of fruit, like blueberries and peaches. But I love the classic combination of strawberries and cream. There is no way those two things together could be bad.
If you are having a dinner party, you can prepare this in advance and keep it in the refrigerator until time for dessert. It just needs to be scooped into a serving dish in big, billowy spoonfuls and served to your guests.
And can we just address the fact that this dessert has an incredibly weird and hilarious name? I love it. You will too.
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/4 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Mint leaves or fresh strawberries for garnish
In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice.In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream until it begins to thicken. Add the 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until soft peaks form.Transfer the strawberries to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Pour the strawberries over the whipped cream in an even layer. Using a rubber spatula, fold the strawberries and cream together until the strawberries have made ribbons throughout the cream. Do not over mix.Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, spoon the strawberry fool into serving dishes and garnish with mint leaves or fresh strawberries.