Lemon Verbena Strawberry Fool
Fools originated in England and almost always contain fruit that has been mixed with whipped cream. This recipe calls for lemon verbena, which can be found from late spring through fall at farmers' markets, nurseries, or specialty grocery stores.
1 cup fresh lemon verbena leaves
3⁄4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 pint in-season strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced
1 cup heavy cream
1⁄4 cup crème fraîche
1. Put verbena, sugar, and 3/4 cup water into a small saucepan and boil over medium-high heat, undisturbed, until syrup is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Strain syrup into a medium bowl, discarding solids. Stir lemon juice and zest into syrup and set aside to let cool. Add strawberries, cover, and let berries macerate in a cool spot for 2–4 hours.
2. Drain berries, reserving syrup. Purée half the berries and half the syrup together in a blender. Transfer to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Set sauce aside to let cool.
3. Whisk cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add crème fraîche and 1 tbsp. of the reserved syrup (save remaining syrup for another use) and whisk until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold in half the berry sauce.
4. Set aside 4 strawberry slices, then divide remaining berries and sauce among four chilled 4-oz. parfait glasses. Fill glasses with strawberry cream and garnish each with a strawberry.