Strawberry Fool

by autumn on March 14, 2012

New Yorkers think the weather is out to get them. We’ve had a famously mild winter this year. February gave us a number of stunning days and instead of being grateful we were suspicious. On the most gorgeous day last month, I heard no less than five people utter some variation of  “I can’t believe how nice it is! It’s probably going to snow all of March.” As if atmospheric pressure gives a damn about our tiny lives. Well, it’s mid-March and no apocalyptic blizzards yet.

Sometimes, I bury rolls of film in my desk drawer for months. When I get them developed, I am surprised by my own memories. I got some prints back recently that turned out to be from almost a year ago at the cherry blossom festival. The cherries in full bloom in Brooklyn are–hands down–my favorite thing in New York City. They’re also the only thing that can convince me spring is here. (Pssst! I must have double-exposed this next photo. Either that or the tree is leopard print.)

Dreaming of spring means dreaming of rhubarb, and dreaming of rhubarb inevitably leads to strawberries. We’re not there yet. Still, I’m suggesting this is the perfect time for a strawberry fool, the positively summery dessert that combines fresh berries, sugar, and cream. You know where I’m going with this don’t you? Jam. I made this Mark Bittman recipe even easier by making it seasonally appropriate. I just whipped cream and folded it with last summer’s strawberry jam.

I’m including a recipe here, but after I made it with these proportions, I made it without measuring a thing and it turned out just as good. It goes without saying that you don’t have to use strawberry jam, but if you’re using homemade, choose a jam or preserve that didn’t set to stiffly. This will keep your folding job easy.

Strawberry Fool

Yield: 3-4 servings


  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 pint strawberry jam, at room temperature (I used my homemade strawberry currant jam)

Cooking Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.
  2. Fold in the jam with a spatula and serve.


  • In the original recipe, Bittman says you can refrigerate this for up to two hours. I (unintentionally) bought the cream that’s often called “heavy whipping cream” and has added carrageenan. That said, mine stayed in the fridge for over two hours without a noticeable change in texture.
  • This makes 3-4 pretty small servings, but it is quite rich and by that I mean “you’re spooning heavy cream into your face, so you won’t want to do it for too long.”


Autumn Giles is the creator of Autumn Makes & Does and the co-host of the Alphabet Soup Podcast.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 katy March 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm

A lovely idea! I’m currently living in Finland–I’m here doing research for a month–and I’ve been looking for simple desserts to keep me going (here, winter has been quite real). I’m thinking a fool with a local jam, lingonberry or maybe cloudberry, will be just the thing. Thanks for the inspiration!


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