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Rhubarb Fool with Cardamom Cream

This is probably an odd pick of recipe from April Bloomfield’s beautiful cookbook, A Girl and Her Pig [1]. The young British chef has made a name for herself cooking with animals and all forms of fat. Those recipes looked great, but I got stuck on this one for a fool (like a fool?). For anyone who doesn’t know what a fool is, (insert joke about you being a fool—somebody stop me!) it is a decidedly British treat of fruit and cream. It is about as simple and satisfying as a dessert gets and good for everyone to have in their bag of tricks. There are so many awesome flavor possibilities, but here we are at the start of the growing season and the first “fruit” out of the gate is rhubarb.

Glorious rhubarb, which I seem to love more every spring, is available in abundance right now in Chicago. This fool is a great recipe to start with, but then you should also consider making one of my favorite tarts [2], or a buckle [3], or even some soup [4].

Rhubarb Fool with Cardamom Cream and Pistachios (adapted from April Bloomfield, A Girl and Her Pig [1])

Rhubarb

Toss the rhubarb and sugar in a medium pot. Add the white wine. Use a knife to scrape the seeds from the vanilla pods into the pot, save the pod for another use. Place the pot over medium-low heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb is very tender but pices are still more or less intact, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Once the rhubarb has completely cooled, stir in the rose water.

Cardamom Cream

Smash the green cardamom pods, discard the husks and pound the seeds in a mortar and pestle until finely ground. Add the sugar to the mortar and pound briefly to combine.

Combine the creme fraiche, heavy cream, and cardamom sugar in a large mixing bowl. Chill until ready to serve. When ready to serve, whip until fluffy and the cream holds soft peaks.

To assemble the fools: Use 4 8-ounce glasses, or a large glass bowl (use glass to see the pretty layers!). Layer the rhubarb and whipped cream and top with chopped roasted and salted pistachios. Cover the fools and let them chill in the fridge for an hour or so before serving.