Fruit fool

A fool is an English dessert. Traditionally, fruit fool is made by folding pureed stewed fruit (classically gooseberries) into sweet custard. Modern fool recipes often skip the traditional custard and use whipped cream. Additionally, a flavouring agent such as rose water may be added.

Raspberry fool.jpg
A raspberry fool
Alternative namesFoole
Place of originEngland
Main ingredientsPuréed fruit, whipped cream, sugar

History and etymologyEdit

'Foole' is first mentioned as a dessert in 1598, made of 'clouted creame'[1] although the origins of gooseberry fool may date back to the 15th century.[2] The earliest recipe for fruit fool dates to the mid-17th century.[3] Why the word "fool" is used as the name of this fruit dessert is not clear. Several authors derive it from the French verb fouler meaning "to crush" or "to press" (in the context of pressing grapes for wine),[4] but this derivation is dismissed by the Oxford English Dictionary as baseless and inconsistent with the early use of the word.[1] The name trifle was also originally applied to the dish, with the two names being used interchangeably.[5]


Blackberry fool

Originally, the most common fruit ingredient in fools was gooseberries, although other fruits and berries are known from early recipes, e.g., apples, strawberries, rhubarb and raspberries. Modern recipes may include any seasonal fruit readily found.[citation needed] A gooseberry fool recipe was once posted online.[6] This recipe is the perennial favorite.[citation needed]

Norfolk fool[7] is an old local variation of the fruit fool which seems to treat the fruit content more as a secondary ingredient, adding it at the end of the recipe.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, 1989.
  2. ^ Garmey, Jane. Great British Cooking: A Well Kept Secret. New York: Random House, 1981
  3. ^ The compleat cook, anonymous (W.M.), 1658
  4. ^ Hibler, Janie. The Berry Bible, Harper Collins Publishers, 2000, page 306
  5. ^ "Three British Desserts: Syllabub, Fool and Trifle". Article by Diana Serbe. Archived from the original on 13 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
  6. ^ Recipe for gooseberry fool Archived 2010-07-13 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 1 July 2010).
  7. ^ The accomplisht cook, by Robert May, 1660-1685

External linksEdit

  Media related to Fool (dessert) at Wikimedia Commons