Gooseberry and praline fool

Here’s my latest recipe / loose method for my Borough Market ‘Assemblies’ column — things that take just a few minutes to put together, and so making the most of seasonal market food to feed a crowd.

You can follow the series on their website, along with the many excellent recipes and articles that are updated daily (browse the tabs marked, err, ‘Recipes’ and ‘Articles’).

This one’s a sweet thing: a gooseberry fool with added crunch. I love fools, but they are perhaps a little monotonous after two spoonfuls, so need a biscuit or something similar to go with them. I’d thought of buying a couple of ready made meringues to add to the mix, and so making it a topical ‘foolish Eton mess’. But on reflection given we’re living that there’s no need to eat it as well. So chopped up some hazelnut praline you can get from the Market (from an agroforestry stall called ‘Food & Forest‘) others would do) and that worked really well.

As mentioned, the series doesn’t set out recipe instruction in classic form. Here’s the method paraphrased; head to the original article to read about my shopping trip and rationale in full.

Gooseberry and praline fool

Use scissors to top and tail a punnet (about 400g) of gooseberries. Add 50g sugar and 100g water and gently stew the berries for 5-10 mins, so they burst but still hold some shape. This leaves the gooseberries quite tart, but the nut brittle is sweet and fool mellow — they balance each other well. Leave to cool to room temperature, while chopping 100g of praline or nutty brittle with a big knife into granola-sized pieces.

Add about 50g cooled cooking juice and 250g double cream to a large mixing bowl and whip to ribbon stage (it’ll take just a few flicks of a balloon whisk). Add another 50g juice and 150g Greek-style yoghurt and whip away again. This second whipping stage requires more effort and time but keep going and suddenly you’ll notice the cream and yoghurt is light and voluminous. You can do this in advance of dinner, but too long in the fridge and the fool seizes a little. An hour or so is fine, if you don’t want to do it to order—but don’t spoon the gooseberries over until the moment you plan to eat.

Fold half the brittle through, then decant the fool to a wide bowl or a platter with a dip in the middle and lip at the edge. Spoon the gooseberries over the top and scatter with the remaining brittle.