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A fool for Thanksgiving, or just for a Fall day

This is no reference to the Editor, although she is one, but rather to a seasonal dessert tailor made for the repertoire of Thanksgiving puddings and pies as either an addition or alternative. Fools are fun, something like soft ice cream flavored with spirits and fruit. The Editor is embarrassed to admit that she never thought of this one made from roasted apples. It appeared with fortuitous timing at the webpage of the London Telegraph. The original recipe belongs to Diana Henry; we have modified it. Eight individual fools.

Apple002.jpg-3 lb apples, peeled, cored and cut into rough 1 inch slabs

-about 1/3 cup brown sugar

-2 Tablespoons applejack, English apple brandy or Calvados

-about 1 ½-2 cups heavy whipping cream

-2 Tablespoons molasses or black treacle

-another 3 Tablespoons applejack

Preheat the oven to 350°.

  1. Lay the apples on a cookie sheet and sprinkle them with the first tranche of sugar and booze.
  2. Bake them until softened and slightly charred in spots, usually in about 30 minutes.
  3. Scrape the apples and their juice into a big bowl and mash them roughly with a fork; keep the texture lumpy, but not too lumpy.
  4. Whip the cream until peaky and fold it gently into the apples with the second tranche of sweetening and booze.
  5. Spoon the fool into eight festive glasses of appropriate size and chill the fools for at least 4 hours.


- The Telegraph’s recipe is sweeter and substitutes a measure of custard for some of the whipped cream. If you like a sweeter fool, revert.

- Molasses has a strong flavor, and the flavor of New England. We like it but if you do not, substitute a like amount of brown sugar. English black treacle is sweeter than the molasses.

- This fool invites variation. A small handful of dried currants or coarsely chopped raisins soaked in the booze overnight make a spry addition. Add them at the end of Step 4 and omit the second dribble of booze. Dried cranberries (‘craisins’ in their commerial manifestation work well too)

- The fool will become less appley, but good dark rum, especially if you marinate the dried fruit, is an excellent alternative. Cheap and treacly Cruzan Blackstrap is a good choice or splurge and go for something drier and aged, like Ron Atlantico or that peerless sipper, Pampero Anniversario.

- Spice is nice, but not too much, for this fool. Alternatives include allspice, cinnamon, clove, mace, nutmeg or any combination of them.

- A drip of vanilla, especially with rum, or dribble of orange water does not hurt the whipped cream either.