For me, a fool is something stirred through custard or cream, or both. I adore custard, so I make a big batch and use half for the fool and half for dessert another night. The texture of this dish is almost like an edible cloud. I’ve used gooseberries as the season is so short and they’re a celebration of December, but you can use any summer fruit of your choice.


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1 kg gooseberries, stems removed, or other berries
110 g (½ cup) white sugar
1 tbs elderflower cordial (see Note)
500 ml (2 cups) proper cornflour custard, chilled
300 ml pouring cream, chilled, whipped

Cook's notes

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.


Place gooseberries in a saucepan with the sugar over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes or until really soft.

Strain mixture through a sieve, pressing down on fruit with the back of a spoon to extract as much pulp as possible. Reserve the pulp and juice and discard the skins. Set aside to cool, then stir in the elderflower cordial.

Strain custard through the same sieve as you did the berries. Gently fold gooseberry mixture and whipped cream through custard, adding extra sugar to taste.


Elderflower cordial is from supermarkets.

As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 16, pg40.

Photography by Alan Benson