18th Century: Fruit Fools


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes enough for


    glasses or jam jars

Appears in

Pride and Pudding: The History of British Puddings, Savoury and Sweet

Pride and Pudding

By Regula Ysewijn

Published 2016

  • About

Both strawberry or raspberry fool and gooseberry fool can be made in the same way. Another nice fool is one with rhubarb. For a gooseberry or rhubarb fool, stew the fruit with some honey or sugar. For a raspberry or strawberry fool, I prefer not to stew the fruit, as it is so good as it is.

To make Strawberry or Raspberry Fool

Take a pint of raspberries, squeeze and drain the juice with orange flower water; put to the juice five ounces of fine sugar; then set a pint of cream over the fire, and let it boil up; then put in the juice; give it one stir round, and then put it into your basin, stir a little in the basin, and when it is cold use it.

Eliza Smith, The Compleat Housewife, 1727


  • 150 g ( oz/1 punnet) raspberries
  • ½ teaspoon orange flower water
  • ½ teaspoon sugar, or to taste
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) thick (double) cream


Crush two-thirds of the raspberries with a fork, leaving some large chunks for texture. Mix with the orange flower water. Add the sugar to the cream, taste and add more if you have a sweet tooth.

Stir half of the cream into the crushed fruit so you get a nice pink colour.

Now layer the remaining cream with the pink fruit cream into the jars or glasses.

Decorate with the remaining fruit.