The best ever Recipe for…Perfect Gooseberry Fool

2lb gooseberries

½lb sugar

½ pint double cream

This recipe is taken from Eliza- beth David’s little 1969 pamphlet on fools and syllabubs. Syllabubs are made with cream, alcohol and flavouring such as lemon peel; fools are blended fruits with cream and sugar. She writes of fools as ‘the most frail and insubstantial of English summer dishes’ which, when one considers the amount of cream, would hardly seem to be the case nowadays.

You can also use rhubarb in this recipe, although you may need more sugar, which should be brown to lend a lovely deep coral tone. Uncooked strawberries, raspberries and redcurrants also make good fools. What could be simpler?

Steam the fruit with the sugar until soft. Strain and sieve (you will not need to top and tail) or blend in a food processor (when you will need to top and tail). When cold, add the cream and then taste for sweetness.