Rhubarb fool

If you were to apply the Stanford–Binet Intelligence Test to fruit-based desserts you’d find the Rhubarb fool sits somewhere between the Strawberry Simpleton and the Damson Dunce. Not the brightest confection in the bowl you understand, but possibly one of the tastiest.

Preparation time: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes plus cooling time
Skill level: ezeee


  • 700g rhubarb
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 5cm fresh ginger roughly sliced
  • zest of two oranges
  • 300ml double cream, lightly beaten

Cut the nicely washed rhubarb into 3cm slices and add to an ovenproof pot along with the ginger. Mix the orange zest with the sugar, thoroughly. Scatter over the rhubarb, cover and place in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes until soft. Leave to cool.

Once cool, remove the ginger pieces and sieve the rhubarb to extract the juices for use later. Next, blend the rhubarb.

Lightly beat the cream and then gradually fold into the rhubarb mixture. Then swirl some of the reserved liquid into the rhubarb and cream mixture for a marbled effect.

Chill your dainty glass dishes prior to loading them up.

Load them up with rhubarb mixture then lightly drizzle the rhubarb liquid over the fools.

Verdict: Rhubarby, creamy, not too sweet, not too tart, trial run was so successful we unleashed it upon dessert-loving relatives. Alternatively you could try Vanilla risotto with poached rhubarb or for the more adventurous Savoury Rhubarb Soup.

Drink: The end of the white wine that had gone so well with the rest of dinner.

Entertainment: A spacey viewing of ‘Koyaanisqatsi’.



  1. I bet if you stuck this on top of a base of amaretti biscuits it would be heavenly

  2. Hi Ian
    …or how about crushed gingernuts?

  3. rhubarb and ginger always works well together

  4. Monsieur Binet Himself

    You mind your comments on a rhubarb fool, young man or woman. Having had a long-standing acquaintance with said dessert I can attest to its stellar intelligence.

    Now as regards a Damson Dunce, there is a cerebrally-challenged fruit-based dessert if ever there was.

  5. Hi MBH, I stand corrected. Young man (once)


  6. Monsieur Binet Himself

    Oh, dear Richard, I was not having a go at you in case you think so. It is only that after a rather lovely meal that was washed down with a requisite (=vast) amount of appropriate beverages I felt hugely called upon to defend a rhubarb fool and probably went a bit far in expressing my strong views on the subject.
    What I failed to state clearly, but which I judge the careful reader to have easily discerned from my stern message, is that your blog has given me – and continues to do so – huge pleasure. I would go so far as to state that I feel us kindred spirits on the culinary front. Also on the beverage and the musical accompaniment front. So thanks for all that and keep up the good work. Now I know you probably have a day job and have to spend more than 5 minutes a day in raising a young ‘un, but seriously, it will be much appreciated if you could post much more frequently as I look forward to each post almost as much as I used to look out for the next Beano. And that was a LOT, as I lived in a country with no TV. I feel this is the point when I should stop writing in order to preserve a shred of dignity.

    Yours sincerely,
    Monsieur Binet Himself

  7. Hi MBH

    We were both touched, chuffed and tickled pink by your kind words… it’s gratifying to know there is someone out there who actually reads and enjoys this stuff. I can only apologise for the woeful lack of output of late, but rest assured pressure is currently building up behind a backlog of delicious recipes and profound insights which I am sure once the blockage has cleared will be spewing out all over the internet like liquid gold/bullshit. Incidentally, The Beano was also my comic of choice – a publication to which I remained faithful (despite the occasion flirtation with Whizzer & Chips or Shiver and Shake) to quite an alarmingly late age. Thanks again. Richard and Daisy and Rosie.

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