Mango Fool

Summer, Sweet Recipes • 23 Jul 2008

In the still, thick, sticky summer heat, sometimes the only thing that satiates the palate is a shockingly chilly frozen treat. Ice cream is so satisfying, so right, that is seems as salubrious as an icy cold cucumber. Sometimes banal summer desserts, however, can leave you wanting more, wanting something different. When ice cream seems too cloying, a popsicle too hackneyed, consider the fool, a cold and silken dessert so simple – the essence of cream and summer fruit whipped together in an instant.

Fool is an old-fashioned dessert made from pureed fruit mixed with whipped cream or custard. I admit I had never heard of this formidable classic until recently. Mark Bittman states that it is a “once commonplace dish that has all but vanished from the repertory of most home cooks.”

Popular flavors of the vintage English dessert include strawberry, raspberry, peach, traditional English gooseberry and mango, which was common in British colonial Africa.

The historical recipe recently popped up in an issue of Gourmet, too effortless a recipe to forgo. The combination of pureed mango and whipped cream yields a satiny custard and a hint of fresh lime juice gives it a refreshing, lively tang. Served over blueberries, it is a great alternative to ice cream on a hot summer’s night. There’s a true charm to this declaration of simplicity.

Mango Fool
Adapted From Gourmet Magazine

1 1-pound ripe mango, pitted, peeled, and cut into chunks
1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1 1/2 cups blueberries (1/2 pound)
Grated lime zest to taste

1. Purée mango, sugar, lime juice, and a pinch of salt in a blender until very smooth. Add cream and blend until very thick. Blend in additional lime juice and sugar to taste.

2. Transfer to a bowl and fold in most of blueberries, then divide among 6 glasses. Top with remaining blueberries and zest. If desired, chill, loosely covered, 30 minutes.

Yield: Makes 6 servings .

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