I think we are very lucky to have seasons in this country. Each season brings with it an anticipation of some new food; asparagus, tomatoes, pumpkins or sprouts. The weather is something that we can all comment on and moan about. One of the wonderful things about a British summer is the berry season.
I don’t count it as summer unless I have had at least one of every berry available. This year I haven’t been lucky enough to ascertain a gooseberry yet but I’m doing pretty well as far as other berries go. As each berry has its own characteristics and flavour it’s hard to choose a favourite. I suppose my favourite is whichever berry is at its ripest and best at that particular time.
Blackcurrants have a wonderful flavour and most of us would probably have first had it in Ribena or Robinsons squash. That’s certainly how I remember my first taste of blackcurrant. If you don’t mind puckering your lips and straining your expression then fresh blackcurrants can be enjoyed as they are without any interference. I tend to steer clear of looking positively alarming to others and so I mellow their sourness in various ways.
You will need:
1 large handful blackcurrants
1-2 tbsp caster sugar
250ml double cream
1-2tbsp icing sugar
1 small handful of pistachios, choppedPerhaps I am odd, ‘quirky’ is probably a little more polite, but I like nothing more than pinching the dead flower and stem off of each and every blackcurrant. Even more so if I can do it outside and sit in the sunshine at the same time. Either way this laborious task needs to be undertaken in order to avoid unwanted textures in the finished fool.
When the blackcurrants are prepared put them into a pan with a sprinkling of water and the caster sugar. Cook the blackcurrants on a medium heat until they burst and release their juices then carry on cooking until most of the moisture has gone. If you leave too much moisture in then your fool will be more like a soup.
Leave the blackcurrants to cool. Whip up the cream and icing sugar until you have firm peaks and then gently fold the blackcurrants in. Top the fool with a few pistachios. This would look lovely presented in a big bowl; the billowing contours just waiting to be broken with a spoon.For a pudding that takes around 15 minutes to make (not including the topping and tailing of course) I don’t think it gets much better. The blackcurrants flavour the whole dessert and their acidity is slightly mellowed with the sugar and complemented by the cream. The pistachios add a lovely crunchy texture. I do like to leave my blackcurrants slightly acidic, because I think that’s the point of a fool, but not so acidic that I am left with a face that looks like it’s been chewing lemons all day.