A fool is usually a mix of fruit puree and cream, custard or similar. Here I use the luscious fruit of the dreaded weed, the blackberry, and use both custard and cream for a fuller mouthfeel.
- 1 litre milk
- 1 sprig lemon verbena or 2 strips lemon rind removed with a potato peeler
- 3 tbsp cornflour
- 6 eggs
- 100 g caster sugar, plus extra to taste
- 1 kg blackberries, plus extra to serve
- 300 ml thickened cream
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 1 hr, plus overnight if possible
1. Place the milk and lemon verbena or lemon rind in a large saucepan over high heat and cook until hot but not quite boiling. Remove from the heat and stand for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the lemon verbena or lemon rind.
2. Place the cornflour and 1-2 tbsp of the hot milk in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the eggs and sugar and whisk until smooth and creamy. Whisking continuously, gradually pour the hot milk onto the cornflour mixture and whisk until well combined. Return the mixture to the pan and place over medium-high heat, whisking continuously until it comes to the boil. You need to whisk slowly at first, then faster as it starts to thicken to stop it clumping. When the custard is thick and smooth, remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and cover closely with a piece of greaseproof paper so it doesn’t form a skin. Allow the custard to cool, then refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, place the blackberries and sugar to taste in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cover and cook, stirring often, just until they fall apart and can be mushed easily. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Push the blackberries through a sieve and discard the solids that don’t pass through the sieve.
4. When ready to assemble, push the custard through a sieve, then fold in the blackberry puree. Whip the cream in a separate bowl until thick peaks form, then fold into the blackberry mixture. Cover the bowl and refrigerate, ideally overnight, then serve scattered with a few fresh blackberries. You can serve it straight away, but the texture improves with a night in the fridge.
Photography by Tim Thatcher