Japanese Knotweed Fool

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  • Ready in: 30 minutes prep; 2 to 3 hours to chill
  • Serves: 6
  • Complexity: medium
Japanese Knotweed Fool

A fool is an English dessert that dates to the 16th century and is so easy to make that you barely need a recipe. All it takes is some heavy cream and a bit of fruit purée.


  • 1–2 cups chopped fruit, such as knotweed, pears, peaches, berries, or a blend
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • sugar to taste


Simmer the knotweed, and other optional fruit, with a splash of water and sugar to taste. When the knotweed has broken down smoothly, press through a food mill or sieve to remove the knotweed fibers. Chill.
Put a spoonful of knotweed-fruit purée into the bottom of 6 transparent demitasse cups or shot glasses, 2–3 ounces. Whip the cream, sweetened to taste, to soft peaks, and use a rubber spatula to fold in the remaining fruit purée, leaving unincorporated swirls of the fruit throughout the cream. Spoon into the glasses, mounding the cream above the rim, and top with a few edible flowers, such as lilacs. Chill until serving, up to several hours.

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