Claire Clark's Fruit Fools

Claire Clark's Fruit Fools
FabFood
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Recipe for Claire Clark's Fruit Fools. The pastry chef for the famed French Laundry restaurant shares recipes for some of her most famous desserts in her new book.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces/125 ml fruit puree or pulp
  • caster sugar to taste, for the fruit
  • 9 fluid ounces/250 ml double cream
  • icing sugar to taste, for the cream
  • fresh fruit to decorate
  • For the Colored Sugar (Optional):
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 9 ounces/250g granulated sugar
  • a little powdered food coloring (available in cake decorating shops)

Directions

  1. Sieve the puree to remove the seeds, if you like, then add enough caster sugar to sweeten and mix well.
  2. Whip the cream to soft peaks, being careful not to overwhip it.  Sweetened with icing sugar if desired and fill a piping bag fitted with a 1/2 inch/1 cm nozzle.  Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the fruit purees in each of 6 serving glasses.  Place the piping bag in each glass so the nozzle is almost touching the puree.  Now squeeze the bag; as you do so, it will push the puree to the edge of the glass and create a spiral effect of cream and fruit puree.  Ass the glass fills with cream, lift the bag toward the top of the glass, stopping when it is nearly full.  Chill the fools in the fridge for an hour.  Decorate with fresh fruit or colored sugar, if liked, and serve with any remaining puree.
  3. For the colored sugar, lightly oil a nonstick baking mat with the vegetable oil.  Put the sugar and water in a small heavy -based pan, stir well, then heat, stirring, until the sugar has dissolved.  Put a candy thermometer in the pan and bring to a boil over high heat.  boil until the mixture reached the hard crack stage (150-155°C or 300-310°F).  While it is boiling, clean the sides of the pan 4 or 5 times with a clean pastry brush dipped in cold water, running the brush around the edges of the pan to  keep it free from sugar crystals that might fall back into the sugar and cause the caramel to crystallize.  When it reaches the required temperature, remove the pan from the heat and place on a potholder to cool slightly.
  4. Using a small paintbrush, very lightly dab specks of powdered food coloring onto the mat.  Pour the slightly cooled sugar syrup on to the mat over the color to create a thin layer f sugar, which should look like glass. Do not allow the sugar to cool so much that it thickens before you pour it.  It should flow in a thin layer over the color.  Leave to cool then break it into pieces to decorate the fools.
  5. Claire's Notes:
  6. For the best results use fruit that is in season and as ripe as possible.
  7. Honey can be used to sweeten the cream instead of icing sugar, or you could add a little white wine or fruit flavored liqueur for a dinner party dessert.