1 lb rhubarb (fresh or frozen) cut into 1 - 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of one orange (optional but highly recommended)
1/2 cup strawberry puree
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
Note: You can also make a strawberry puree from fresh strawberries. Simply place 1 cup of cut up strawberries into your food processor and process until the strawberries are pureed. Add sugar to taste. Frozen strawberries will work as well following the same procedure.
Preheat the oven to 375 deg. Mix together the rhubarb, sugar, and orange zest and place in an ovenproof dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake for about 45 - 60 minutes or until the rhubarb is nice and soft. (Frozen rhubarb takes about one hour while fresh rhubarb may take only about 45 minutes.) Check and stir the rhubarb after 30 minutes. Once the rhubarb is soft, remove the cover and allow to continue to cook until the juices are thick. Puree the rhubarb in your food processor or blender until smooth. You should have about 1 - 1 1/4 cups of puree. Add the strawberry puree and additional sugar if necessary. Cover and chill for several hours or overnight. When you are ready to serve, whip the cream until soft peaks form. With a large rubber spatula gently fold in the rhubarb mixture. (You want the fruit fools to have streaks of the white cream showing where the puree was not completely folded into the whipped cream.) Place in six serving glasses. You can cover the glass and refrigerate for several hours before serving or you can serve immediately.
This is a very old recipe which is appropriate for a very old chef. I have given you one of the traditional ways of cooking the rhubarb. If you wish, you can prepare the rhubarb by cooking on top of the stove. Use a heavy pan and on medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar is melted. Reduce the heat to very low and allow to continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and smooth. Allow to chill and you are ready to proceed as above.