The fool originated in England in the fifteenth or sixteenth century. It is a dish sublime in it's simplicity, combining tart fruit with whipped cream. The British traditionally made this dessert with gooseberries, but in spring rhubarb is the perfect choice, with its bright, tart flavor. A very simple dessert to prepare, any fool could make it!
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 4 cups or 1 pound prepped)
1/2 cup honey
Zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger
1/2 vanilla bean, split
Pinch of fine sea salt
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
To make the fool, put the rhubarb, honey, orange zest and juice, candied ginger, vanilla bean, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine, then cover and cook, stirring every few minutes, for 10 minutes, until the mixture has come to a boil and the rhubarb has softened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then remove the vanilla bean. Transfer the compote to a bowl, and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes, until very cold.
Whip the cream and sugar until soft peaks form, either by hand or using an electric mixer on medium speed. Set aside 1/3 cup of the compote to garnish the dessert, then fold the remaining compote into the whipped cream. Spoon the fool into six 1/2-cup glasses or dishes and chill for 1 hour before serving topped with the remaining compote.