Low-fat fruit fools

Plum and stem ginger fools

Fools are one of my favourite puddings. There is nothing finer than the combination of sweet, almost syrupy cooked fruit folded into gorgeously indulgent whipped cream.

I’m intrigued as to why they deserve the name fool, as there is nothing foolish about this desert in my eyes. All I’ve manged to discover is their first mention is in England during the 15th/16th century, along with that other great favourite of mine, the trifle.

The problem is though they really don’t do any favours for my ever-expanding waistline. I’ve taken the decision recently to try to eat a little more healthily. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going overboard. Just a few tweaks here and there – a little less butter, a few less carbs, watching those portion sizes, avoiding the biscuit tin in the office, and controlling my passion for double cream.

So I’ve tried out a couple of healthier takes on the traditional fool and the results have been rather pleasing. Both times I served them up for dinner guests and both times they went down a storm.

The first was a plum fool and I replaced all of the whipped cream for low-fat Greek yoghurt. When my husband heard what I was doing, I could see the disappointment in his eyes. A fool without cream? That’s like a hot crumpet without the butter! But there was no need for despair. The almost fat-free fool was a complete and utter triumph and still felt naughtily indulgent and satisfying and, well, everything you’d expect from a proper pudding, but without all the calories. Fabulous.

I followed this a week later with a rhubarb fool. This time I went for a half-cream half-yoghurt combination.

My (almost) low-fat rhubarb and stem ginger fool

Again it was delicious and certainly more creamy, but I wouldn’t say it was any better than the plum version for the inclusion of cream. So I proudly present a pudding that is delicious without being too bad for you. You decide whether to use cream and yoghurt or just yoghurt - it all depends on how happy you are with the size of your waist I guess.

Both fools feature crystallised stem ginger quite heavily too, as I happened to have a jar in. But if it’s not one of your favourite flavours, feel free to omit. Replace the syrup in the recipe with some runny honey or icing sugar.

Plum and stem ginger yoghurt fool

Serves 4

5 plums, stoned and quartered
1 ball crystallised stem ginger, finely chopped, and some of the syrup from the jar
2 tbsp demerara sugar
Splash of orange or apple juice
300ml low-fat Greek yoghurt

Place the plum quarters, ginger and sugar in a saucepan with a splash of fruit juice. Cover and cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes until the plums are soft. Leave to cool.

Stir a tablespoonful or two of the syrup from the jar of crystallised ginger into the yoghurt.

Spoon a layer of the yoghurt into the base of four glasses or small bowls, followed by a layer of the plums. Continue with alternate layers of yoghurt and plum until they’re all used up. Keep chilled in the fridge until you are ready for them.

A pair of plum fools

Rhubarb and stem ginger fool

400g rhubarb, cut into inch long chunks
1 ball crystallised stem ginger, finely chopped, and some of the syrup from the jar
3 tbsp demerara sugar
Splash of orange or apple juice
150ml double cream
150ml low-fat Greek yoghurt

Place the rhubarb chunks, ginger and sugar in a saucepan with a little of the fruit juice. Cover and cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes until the fruit is soft. I like the rhubarb to be just turning mushy but still has a little bite. Leave to cool.

Stir some of the syrup from the jar of crystallised ginger into the yoghurt.

Whisk the double cream until it forms soft peaks and then gently combine with the yoghurt.

Pour half of the cooled rhubarb into the cream and yoghurt and mix together gently.

Divide the remaining rhubarb between four glasses or small bowls and then top with the rhubarb, cream and yoghurt mix. Chill in the fridge until it’s time for pudding.

Creamy rhubarb fool

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10 thoughts on “Low-fat fruit fools

    • I do so like my naughty, calorie-ridden puddings, but it is great to find something satisfying that isn’t going to pile on the pounds. I feel quite virtuous eating it!

  1. Hi! Just came across your blog and absolutely love it – thanks for sharing such scrummy looking recipes. These low fat fools look amazing, will have to give them a try. Out of interest, did you use 0 or 2% Greek yoghurt?

    Sx

    • Thanks so much Seren! Would love to know what you think of the fools if you do make them. I used 2% Greek yoghurt but I’m sure they’d work equally well with 0%.

  2. On the train back to Bristol & getting happily lost in all your brilliant & inspiring ideas! Can’t wait to explore more when I’m a bit nearer to my kitchen :-) xx

  3. I’ve never heard of a fool, the food type that is. Haha. These look like great recipes! I’ll have to try them! Yum!

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