The fluffy rhubarb mixture is based on fool, a traditional English dessert of cooked, pureed fruit folded into whipped cream. Here it's spread between crisp layers of maple-flavored phyllo dough. For the prettiest color, use bright red stalks of rhubarb. The intense nutty sweetness of maple sugar affords the best flavor, but you can substitute brown sugar in a pinch. The phyllo crisps can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container for up to three days. Assemble desserts just before serving so you get the benefit of crisp pastry contrasting with the soft rhubarb fool.
2 tablespoons butter
10 (14 x 9–inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
5 tablespoons maple sugar
4 cups chopped rhubarb (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1/2 cup maple sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons grated orange rind
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash of ground cloves
Dash of salt
1/3 cup whipping cream, chilled
2 teaspoons maple sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare crisps, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
Lightly dab 5 phyllo sheets with half of browned butter; sprinkle each sheet with 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar. Stack layers together; gently press. Cut phyllo stack into 9 (4 2/3 x 3–inch) rectangles. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo, browned butter, and 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar. Place rectangles on baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes or until crisp. Remove from pans; cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare fool, combine rhubarb and next 8 ingredients (through salt) in a large saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 2 1/2 cups (about 30 minutes), stirring occasionally. Place half of rhubarb mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over the opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining rhubarb mixture. Cover and chill completely.
Place whipping cream, 2 teaspoons sugar, and vanilla in a small bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in sour cream. Fold whipped cream mixture into chilled rhubarb mixture.
Place 1 phyllo crisp on a dessert plate. Layer crisp with 1/4 cup rhubarb mixture, 1 phyllo crisp, 1/4 cup rhubarb mixture, and 1 phyllo crisp. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo crisps and rhubarb mixture. Serve immediately.
Excellent flavors! The maple really rounds out the rhubarb. I just made the rhubarb filling as a light dessert with plain yogurt. Yum! What a great combination. No need to blend, I think, because the rhubarb softens up after cooking. Total keeper!
This is sooooo good. Takes a bit of prep (You'll want to do part of it the night before.) But it's a fantastic dessert to serve while entertaining - you can do the last part moments before serving, really easily. It's absolutely delicious, too. I confess to eating ALL of the leftovers for breakfast.
I'm making this recipe again, although, rhubarb is now out of season. I'm trying it with some rhubarb jam to see how that works.
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