“Don’t give cherries to pigs or advice to fools.” Irish Saying
I found this Irish saying a few days ago, which by the way, seems to make sense. I’m not sure if I’ve ever given cherries to pigs. Growing up on a farm, I do remember feeding pigs table scraps, which may have accidentally included a stray cherry. But mostly they were fed a combination of a commercial feed product that when mixed with water we called “slop”.
And as far as fools go, I suppose that over the years, I could have unwittingly given advice to one or two.
But one thing I know for sure is I’ve never prepared, served, purchased or eaten any type of fruit fool. A Googling I went and found a recipe from Whole Foods and being a fool and not waiting until cherries are in season, I decided to make this for St. Patrick’s Day using canned cherries.
This fool is a simple combination of cream with brown sugar and vanilla extract added and then beaten in a mixer until it became whipped cream. I folded in a mixture of cherries, almond extract and lemon juice which as been cooked stove top to form a compote-style mixture. The whole thing was then topped with sliced almonds that had been coated with honey and baked. We liked this dessert simply because it wasn’t too sweet.
Being St. Patrick’s Day, of course we served this dessert after our corned beef brisket, cabbage and potato dinner.
Our brisket was placed in the crock pot using a bottle of hard cider for the liquid. It was topped with about 1/4 cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of horseradish mustard. For the sake of texture, I cooked the potatoes and cabbage separately. Bob quickly noted that the cabbage should have been boiled, I agreed. I quickly noted that roasting the potatoes was also an “Irish” mistake. Bob agreed.
Anyway, we’re not complete fools. Rye bread, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese have been purchased for Reuben Sandwich leftovers.
Isn’t it grand to be Irish for a few days? Which by the way, I recently read somewhere that a pig was to blame for the invention of this traditional meal. Irish immigrants who couldn’t afford bacon used a cheaper cut from beef, salted to render and spiced to create what we now know as corned beef.
- Honey Almonds:
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Cherry Brown Sugar Fool:
- 1 cup pitted fresh sweet cherries
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat (e.g. Silpat).
- In a small bowl, coat nuts with honey. Spread nuts on the baking mat. Bake 7 to 10 minutes, until golden. Transfer nuts to a bowl to cool. Coarsely chop, and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine cherries, lemon juice, almond extract, sugar and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until cherries begin to break down and juices boil and thicken, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and transfer to a small bowl. Place bowl in a larger bowl of ice water, and stir mixture occasionally until cold.
- In a separate bowl, combine cream, brown sugar, and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form; fold in ⅓ cup of the cherry sauce. Combine, but not fully — there should be beautiful cherry streaks running through the fresh cream.
- Divide among four dessert dishes, and spoon remaining cherries over tops. Garnish with the honey almonds.
Cherry Fool…It’s What’s for St. Paddy’s Dessert.