When Hal (age 4.5) goes to the library, she adds books to the bag as if she were the first person in line at a bustling estate sale. First come, first serve. We always manage to go to the library at an off time, so her biggest competition is a nearby baby gnawing at the corner of a board book. I cut her off when the bag gets too heavy to hold. She scans the books, and we’re back in the car before the leftover air conditioned air feels like heat.
This post is sponsored by Driscoll’s and The FeedFeed. Here’s the secret to why Driscoll’s berries are always so flavorful? They start with thousands of berry varieties and choose the top 1% to sell. Talk about quality control. To learn more about Driscoll’s #BerryTogether campaign, head this way. Thank you for supporting the companies that support me.
Despite having a bag full of haphazardly picked books, she chooses one to read exclusively for the duration of the checkout period. One such recent book was about a Blackberry Fool, a dessert made by 4 four families over 4 generations. It wasn’t my favorite book to read, so you can imagine the
excitement agony of having to read it over and over again. Heh.
When it comes to marketing, they say it takes hearing something 7 times to take action. So on our 7th time through, I dog-eared the recipe idea for summer. Kev and I stock Driscoll’s berries around here like Hal fills her library bag. The only thing different—we plan on consuming every last berry in the house. And we do it all year long because Driscoll’s follows the sun in order to provide great tasting raspberries year round.
“What do we have for dessert, Mel?” An every other day question from Kev. My no-forethought dessert rolodex is pretty empty. Like completely. And yet, summer is a pile of last minute, thrown together dinners with friends. Thanks to that book, I now have an answer—a Blackberry Fool. I also have another serving vehicle to account for every last berry in the clamshell.
This dessert is so simple, it might not need a recipe (or a forethought)—slightly sweetened Driscoll’s blackberries mixed with whipped cream. I added a bit of bourbon to the blackberries and sweetened it with maple syrup. Feel free to use blueberries when the fridge is full. To the whipped cream, I added a dollop of plain yogurt for a touch of tang. The whole dessert is sweetened by the fruit and maple syrup and awakened by the herby mint. Don’t skip the mint if you can help it. For a touch of crunch, add crushed lemon wafer cookies or the sweetened lemon panko from my book (pg. 228).
To last minute dinners, a dessert without forethought, using up every last berry, and convincing Hal to read the rest of the library books in the bag. We’re currently stuck on a book about rainbows. Did you know there’s something called a Moonbow, a rainbow created from the light of the moon?
Blackberry Bourbon Fool
This Blackberry Bourbon Fool is so very simple and versatile and takes little to no forethought. It's lightly sweetened, the way I've been preferring my dessert these days. Feel free to up the sweetness levels to fit your palette. Don't skip the fresh mint if you can help it. It adds a much needed flavor pop to this simple combination.
- 12 oz. shell of Driscoll's Blackberries, rinsed and divided
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. bourbon (optional)
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 c. heavy cream
- 1/4 c. plain whole milk yogurt
- 2-3 tbsp. maple syrup
- torn fresh mint
- Sweetened Lemon Panko (pg. 228 of The Minimalist Kitchen) or crushed Lemon Wafer Cookies (optional)
Prepare the blackberries. This can be done a couple days in advance. Add the blackberries to a small saucepan. Reserve a handful for garnishing. Add in remaining blackberries ingredients. Over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10 minutes, breaking down the berries with the back of a fork. The mixture is ready when a slight thickening is evident. Remove the contents into a bowl. If serving immediately, place bowl in an ice bath for about 10 minutes or until cooled. Stir occasionally. If serving later, store in the fridge to chill. Taste, and add additional maple syrup, if desired.
Meanwhile, make the whipped cream. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the heavy cream and beat on high until medium-stiff peaks. Add in the yogurt and maple syrup. Beat again until medium-stiff peaks. Taste, and add more maple syrup if desired.
Assemble the Fool. In 4 small drinking cups, small glass jars, or small bowls, add a layer of the cooled blackberries. Top with whipped cream. And repeat. Store covered in the fridge until serving. Just before serving, garnish with torn or chopped mint. It's a necessary flavor in this dessert. Optionally, sprinkle with sweetened lemon panko or crushed lemon wafer cookies for a light crunch.
• To preserve your berries, rinse them in water just before serving.
• Run blackberry mixture through a sieve to remove seeds if desired.
• If you'd prefer to skip the maple syrup, use equal parts granulated sugar in the blackberry mixture and powdered sugar in the whipped cream.
• Swap the Bourbon for fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice.