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Fools have a very unfortunate name, but a far from unfortunate impact on your tastebuds. They're dreamy concoctions of crushed fruit with whipped cream, and make divine summer desserts. Fools have been served for centuries, with the name probably French in origin and related to fouler, or to crush.

The fool that I made during the week used raspberries, because the bountiful wonder that is my father's allotment is producing them in abundance, but don't feel that you need to use raspberries, or indeed soft fruits at all, despite them being traditional. Fruit fools made with stewed rhubarb or gooseberries are just as delicious. Anything that's in season and to your taste works a treat. If you fancy, you can always add a splash of something alcoholic to the fruit, too.

And of course, you're just a handful of crushed meringue away from turning a fool into Eton Mess.

This quantity served four of us. Just.


Assuming that you're using soft fruits, crush them gently with a fork and sprinkle with the icing sugar. Leave them to macerate whilst you whip the cream to fairly stiff peaks (but not butter) in a clean bowl.

When the cream is whipped, fold in the yoghurt, followed by the crushed fruit. Don't beat the living daylights out of the mixture, leave it marbled and unthoroughly mixed.

My Ma insists on serving fool in tall-stemmed glasses, so I decant it into four of them to please her, and then leave it to set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Just before serving, I'll garnish each one with some of the reserved fruits and some mint leaves. Heaven!

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