Rhubarb Fool with Jane's Shortbread Biscuits

Ballymaloe House Hotel Located in East Cork

The first of the season's rhubarb always marks the end of winter in our pastry kitchen. Making the red stalk into a fool is one of the best ways to enjoy rhubarb in March. We always serve this soft dessert with buttery shortbread biscuits.


Rhubarb Fool - Serves 6 approximately
450g (1lb.) red rhubarb, cut into chunks  
175g (6 oz.) sugar
2 tablespoons water
225-300ml (8-10 fl. oz.) softly whipped cream


Put the rhubarb into a stainless steel saucepan with the sugar and water. Stir, cover, bring to the boil and simmer until soft - 20 minutes approx. Stir with a wooden spoon until the rhubarb dissolves into a mush. Allow to get quite cold. Fold in the softly whipped cream to taste. Serve chilled with shortbread biscuits.

Jane's Shortbread Biscuits - Makes 25
175g (6oz.) white flour or spelt
110g (4oz.) butter
55g (2 oz.) caster sugar

Put the flour and sugar into a bowl, rub in the butter as for shortcrust pastry. Gather the mixture together and knead lightly. Roll out to 7mm (1/4 inch thick). Cut into rounds with a 6cm (2.5 inch) cutter and cut into heart shapes. Bake in a moderate oven 180°C/350ºF/Gas Mark 4  oven to pale brown, 8-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the biscuits. Remove and cook on a rack.

Note: Watch these biscuits really carefully in the oven. Because of the high sugar content they burn easily. They should be a pale golden - darker will be more bitter. However, if they are too pale, they will be under-cooked and doughy. Cool on a wire rack.

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