Let’s brighten things up today! I’m in that part of winter where, as beautiful as the snow is and as refreshing as it is to breathe in freezing air, I can’t quite convince myself that I’ll ever be truly warm again. The holidays are firmly in the rearview and spring seems a loooong way off. The solution, besides a lot of blankets and a heavy dose of Netflix: make an easy dessert full of sweet whipped cream and bright grapefruit and orange slices that screams summer so loud, it’s practically bursting with sunshine.
How is everyone surviving January? We’ve been lucky to escape the worst of the crazy weather that’s been gripping the country these past few weeks, and temperatures have snuck back up above freezing. I’ve been doing an at-home 30-day yoga program that’s helping me get energized and centered for the new year, which is as close as I will get to making a New Year’s resolution, and I’m playing around with my new Instant Pot. I may have gotten it just so I can make pho at home, but it’s been good for all kinds of things. If anyone has favorite recipes for it, post them in the comments!
These citrus fools came about because I was craving something bright, but didn’t want to work too hard for it. Fools are a classic English dessert, traditionally made with stewed fruit and custard, but you can play with any combination of cream, custard, jam, and fresh fruit that you like. And you know I love an infinitely adaptable dessert. I decided to skip any custard and jam layers altogether in favor of something more light and refreshing. Plus I just really like whipped cream, and this gave me an excuse to eat a lot of it.
To start, cut two grapefruits and two oranges into segments. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to first cut off the very top and very bottom, then stand it straight up and cut the peel off by cutting straight down and around the orange or grapefruit, all the way around. Then trim off any remaining pith, then carefully cut out the fruit segments by slicing them out of the membranes holding them together. I cut the segments in half, but you could cut them smaller, depending on how big your fruit is.
Transfer the fruit to a bowl, then sprinkle a quarter cup of sugar and an eighth of a cup of orange juice over it and stir gently. Put this in the fridge for thirty minutes to let the fruit macerate and release some of it’s liquid. At the end of the thirty minutes, pour the heavy cream into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Place a strainer over a bowl, then pour the fruit into the strainer, using the bowl to catch the liquid. Set the fruit aside, and pour a quarter cup of the liquid into the whipped cream and whisk to combine.
To assemble the fools, spoon alternating layers of whipped cream and fruit into glasses, mugs, or, if you’re really fancy, parfait glasses. Devour.
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 red grapefruits
- 2 oranges
- ⅛ cup orange juice
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- To cut the grapefruit into slices, first cut the very top and bottom of the grapefruit. Stand the grapefruit up, then cut the peel away from the skin, moving around the grapefruit until no skin remains. If there’s any pith left (the white stuff inside the skin), cut that away. Cut each grapefruit segment away from its membranes carefully. Repeat this with the remaining grapefruit and oranges. Cut each grapefruit and orange slice in half.
- Place the orange and grapefruit segments in a bowl. Sprinkle the sugar and pour the orange juice over them and stir gently. Let this sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour. The fruit will release some of its liquid to the bottom of the bowl.
- Place a strainer over a bowl, and pour the fruit into the strainer. Save the liquid, and set the fruit aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or with a handheld electric mixer, whip the heavy cream into stiff peaks. Add in ¼ cup of the grapefruit and orange juice and whip to combine.
- With a small spoon, layer whipped cream into the bottoms of four glasses (or parfait glasses if you are fancy!), followed by a spoonful of the citrus segments. Repeat this two more times, until the glasses are full.