I adore a fool, which is essentially a soft, mousse-y concoction of fruit and cream, or in this case, fruit, custard (yummo!) and cream. Use any soft fruit that is full of flavour, juice and pulp (so raspberries are good, cherries are not). You can make the custard and sieve the berries a few days in advance, and complete the fool a day or two before you want to serve it.
- 500 g blackberries
- 50 g sugar, or to taste, plus 150 g sugar extra
- 35 g (¼ cup) cornflour
- 1 litre (4 cups) milk
- 4 strips lemon rind, taken with a potato peeler
- 4 elderflower heads
- 4 eggs
- 200 ml cream, lightly whipped
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.
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
Place the blackberries and 50 g sugar in a medium pan over low heat. Cover with a lid and cook for no longer than 15 minutes, stirring often, until they soften completely. When done, cool slightly then puree. Push through a sieve and discard the solids.
While the blackberries get going, you can start the custard. Mix the cornflour with a tiny bit of milk in a small bowl to soften. In a large saucepan, heat the milk with the lemon rind and elderflowers over a high heat until just about to boil. Turn off and allow to seep for 10 minutes. In the meantime, whisk the eggs and 150 g extra sugar in a large bowl and whisk the cornflour mixture into the eggs.
Reheat the milk mix, then whisk into the eggs. Strain this mix back into a clean saucepan. Place on a medium-high heat, and whisk the whole time while the mixture comes back to the boil. It will thicken as it does.
Once it’s boiled, pour into a storage container (one that won’t crack or melt with the custard’s heat!), cover with a layer of plastic wrap right on top of the custard to prevent a skin forming, and allow to cool before refrigerating overnight.
To assemble the fool, rub custard through a sieve, then fold through the blackberry paste and the lightly whipped cream. The fool gets a lovely texture if it can be made ahead and left to sit in the bowls or a serving dish for a few hours in the fridge.
• If elders aren’t in flower, or you can’t get the flowers, simply use elderflower cordial or concentrate in its place. Allow about 1 tbsp or so, to taste.