Rhubarb Fool


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

Real Irish Food

Real Irish Food

By David Bowers

Published 2014

  • About

Fools are old-fashioned desserts of cooked fruit stirred into whipped cream. They shouldn’t be too sweet, to let the flavor of the fruit shine through. The sharp and tangy flavor of rhubarb is the perfect complement to the fluffy cream, and the pinkish-green streaks are beautiful, so be careful not to overcook the rhubarb into blandness or mush. Orange zest and juice really brighten the flavor. Let the rhubarb cool completely before swirling it in, and be sure to leave pinky-green streaks of the rhubarb rather than incorporating it completely. If you like, crumble a gingersnap on top of each serving.


  • 3 cups coarsely chopped rhubarb stalks (about 1 pound )
  • ¼ cup sugar (or more to taste), plus 2 tablespoons
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Put the rhubarb, ¼ cup sugar, and the orange juice and zest in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, just until the rhubarb is tender but not until it’s pulpy, 6 to 7 minutes. Taste and add a bit more sugar if desired. Remove from the heat and cool completely, mashing slightly with a fork to break up any large chunks.
  2. Whip the cream with the 2 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form. Stir in the vanilla.
  3. Pour the cooled rhubarb and their juice over the whipped cream, and fold the fruit in gently, allowing streaks to remain. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
  4. Spoon into serving bowls or glasses.