This dish is all about the promise of summer, warm weather and alfresco dinners (with apologies to those of you hunkering down for winter!). That’s right – it’s mid-spring down here in New Zealand and strawberries are just starting to make their presence known. We’re not at the ‘three punnets for $5’ stage yet (that’s $3.88 in American dollars), but we’re not far off.
The strawberries are just starting to get juicy and sweet and I grabbed a couple of punnets yesterday at the market, not really sure what I was going to do with them. A quick internet search later and I found a great Strawberry Fool recipe by Kirsty Cassidy on one of my all-time favourite recipe sites, Taste.com.au.
This is an extremely easy recipe and can be drummed up in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. What I love about it is that it tastes a little more sophisticated than the standard cream and fruit fool. This one combines mascarpone cheese and beaten egg white, then folds the fruit gently into that. The result is a delightfully delicate dessert – a perfect way to round off a summer meal. This particular recipe is good for two sizeable portions, or four small ones. However, if you want to serve a family, it’s easy enough to scale up.
I’m a total fan and I’m sure you will be too. Enjoy!
Serves 2 regular sized portions (or 4 x ½ cup capacity dishes)
- 500g (17.5 ounces) (2 punnets) strawberries
- 55g (1/4 cup) caster (superfine) sugar, divided
- 85g (1/3 cup) mascarpone cheese
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 large egg white
- Reserve 2 whole strawberries then hull and coarsely slice the remainder.
- Combine the sliced strawberries with 1 tablespoon of the caster sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves and strawberries soften. Remove from the heat and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes to cool. (You can do this step ahead of time and simply refrigerate the strawberries until you’re ready to do the rest).
- Meanwhile, beat the mascarpone cheese and vanilla essence in a mixing bowl until just combined (do not over-beat).
- Beat the egg white in a separate bowl (with clean electric beaters) until soft peaks form, then gradually beat in the remaining caster sugar until thick and glossy.
- Gently fold the egg white mixture into the mascarpone mixture with a large metal spoon. Fold in the cooled strawberry mixture (you may not want to use all the juice if you have an abundance of it).
- Divide the strawberry fool between 2 serving dishes (or 4 small dishes). Decorate with the reserved whole strawberries and serve. You can refrigerate these desserts for a short time if you want them to be chilled, but don’t leave it too long or the mixture will deflate).
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting