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A fool, in culinary terms, is a classic English dessert made by stewing fruit and folding it into sweetened whipped cream. Though originally made with gooseberries, this works well with pretty much any fruit and I don’t think you could ever go wrong with strawberries. It’s name stems from the French ‘fouler,’ meaning to crush, however I prefer to cut my strawberries into smallish pieces to keep a little texture and contrast to the silkiness of the cream. Because a ‘fool’ is so incredibly simple and quick to prepare, it’s hard to believe how delicious it can be, so be sure to use the best quality ingredients possible and you will really make it shine.
I love pairing herbs with fruits and adding thyme to the strawberries as they are cooking imparts the subtlest hint of added interest to the already gorgeous combination of strawberries and cream. Whipped coconut cream makes a perfect substitution for dairy cream, in fact I think I actually prefer it. I always keep a couple of cans of coconut milk in my fridge for when the mood strikes me to whip up (excuse the pun) a quick and impromptu dessert.
*A word about coconut milk. Always make sure yours contains no additives such as guar gum, which can be a gut irritant and therefore not AIP friendly. Also some brands of coconut milk, such as Natural Value or Aroy-D, will whip nicely to the consistency of double cream, whilst others will not.
- Place the strawberries, thyme and 1 tbsp honey into a large pan. Cook on a medium heat until juices begin to emerge, then turn the heat down to low and continue cooking, uncovered, until softened and an almost syrupy jam-like consistency, about 12-15 minutes.
- Taste a bit of the syrup to see how thyme-y the flavor is and either leave it in for a more pronounced flavour as it cools or discard it, depending on your preference.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and set aside to cool completely.
- Turn the cans of refrigerated coconut milk upside down, open with a can opener and slowly pour the watery liquid off into a separate jug. You can use this liquid for smoothies or drink as is.
- Scoop out the cream that is left below, which should be between 1½ and 2 cups, and put into a mixing bowl.
- Using a stand mixer or a hand held, whip the cream and remaining 2 tbsp honey into soft, pillowy peaks. Discard the thyme sprigs if you left them in and fold in the strawberries and syrup, reserving a small amount for garnishing.
- Spoon into glasses or pretty dishes and put into the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. Decorate with the reserved strawberries immediately before serving.
- This is at its best on the day it is made, however it will still be okay to eat the next day if kept in the refrigerator.