Saturday, October 16, 2010
2 Recipe #181: "Pity the Fool!" Mango-Lime Fool :-D
You could say that this sweet treat might very well be Mr. T's dessert of choice. LOL.
OK, I'll admit it: I just couldn't resist adding the infamous Mr. T. catchphrase to the title of this recipe post. The opportunity was just too perfect to pass up. In fact, one could say that I created this recipe expressly for the purpose of using the catchphrase in the recipe title. ;) What can I say, I'm a fool for Mr. T. catch phrases. :)
If you think about it, the name "fool" is a rather odd word to describe a dessert. Really, why such a foolish name for it? ;)
For those who might not already be aware, this dessert is actually a British concoction that originated sometime in 1590–1600. Of course, the idea of a fool as a dessert is not exactly the first denotation that comes to mind. :) As defined by Merriam-Webster & Dictionary.com, a "fool," n., is:
1. a silly or stupid person lacking in judgment, sense, or prudence.
2. a professional jester or retainer formerly kept in royal or noble households to provide amusement and casual entertainment, commonly dressed in motley attire with cap, bells, and bauble: the court fool.
3. one who has been tricked, duped, or deceived into appearing or acting silly or stupid: to make a fool of someone.
4. a harmlessly deranged person or one lacking in common powers of understanding.
5. one with a marked propensity or fondness for something; an ardent enthusiast who cannot resist an opportunity to indulge an enthusiasm (usually prec. by a present participle): dancing fool. fool for candy.
6. a weak-minded or idiotic person.
7. [British cookery] a cold dessert of puréed, scalded, or stewed, crushed fruit mixed with whipped cream or custard: gooseberry fool.
Notice that it's the very last definition listed. And that just confirms the place this dessert typically holds in the American collective unconscious, if it's really even there at all. ;) Admittedly, a fool is not a very common or well-known dessert here in the States, although one might see it crop up from time to time in some of the more cosmopolitan cookbooks or websites. Frankly, I really don't see what all the fuss is about. It's not even that complicated to make. In fact, it's basically the equivalent of a fruit smoothie served in a foo-foo-shi-shi dessert glass. ;) And sometimes it's made with bits of stewed or cut-up fresh fruit for added interest.
In this particular version, I've added a bit of Thai flare to this classic British dessert. As most of you probably already know, lemongrass is commonly used in a lot of Southeast Asian cooking (for both sweet & savory dishes), and this recipe is no exception. Lemongrass has a subtle flavor that goes very nicely with the other ingredients in this dish. And, since mango & lime are fairly tart, they need to be balanced out with sweet & mellow flavors. Hence, the lemongrass, and lots of yoghurt & honey. :)
2 c. ripe, fresh mango, sliced (about 2 large mangoes)
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lime juice (juice of about 2 large limes)
zest of 1 fresh lime (optional)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/8 c. honey
1 tsp. lemongrass powder
2 c. nonfat plain Greek yoghurt
Directions: Add mango slices, lime juice & zest, vanilla, honey, & lemongrass powder to a food processor. Process until the mixture forms a smooth purée. Next, add yoghurt and pulse until just combined, so as to maintain the fluffiness & lightness of the whipped mixture. Spoon into 4 tall cups or glasses & chill for 1-2 hours. Just before serving, decorate each glass with fresh, sliced mango, & an assortment of garnishes: lime peel curl, mint leaves, a cut lemongrass stalk, &/or ladyfinger cookies.
Yield: Serves 4-6.