Tuesday Tutor: Featuring The Hobby Room Diaries

Garnished Blackberry Fool Closeup
Blackberry Fool with Lemon Curd

Every Tuesday I choose a different friend to be my tutor for a day: I select one of their original recipes, I make the recipe following my friend's instructions, I snap a multitude of pictures, I scarf down as much as my belt-line will permit - and then I share everything I love about my friend's recipe. Learn More

Today's Tuesday Tutor: The Hobby Room Diaries

My tutor today is Jody from The Hobby Room Diaries, a blog devoted to a diversity of hobbies from cooking and crafting to gardening and photography. Jody's recipes are always easy to follow and just so darn appetizing - and her downloadable recipes makes everything so simple when you're ready to start cooking.

I originally spotted today's Blackberry Fool as part of Food Fetish Friday a few months back - and I knew at some point I had to make it. It's such a simple concept yet SOO decadent - a parfait of lemon curd whipped cream layered with blackberry syrup and blackberry whipped cream - one bite and suddenly you're ravenously scraping the sides of the glass wondering where the rest disappeared. And how you can get more...

About the Author
  1. "My very favorite kitchen tool is the silicone spatula - I just can't cook without using one. I love how useful they are and that they come in a whole rainbow of colors. The problem is that spatulas aren't that expensive, so it's easy to buy a lot without really noticing."
  2. "Growing up we didn't eat junk food or even much processed food, so (much to my shame) things like Kraft Mac n' Cheese and Twinkies are still really exciting to me. But so is from-scratch pasta and chicken pot pie, so I guess I'm not doing too badly."
  3. "I am one of those weirdos walking around with the shoes that have individual toes and I love them! They are so comfortable to wear around, even on pavement, and I don't understand how that can be possible, but somehow it is. Along with being good for bad feet and backs, rumors are they also make you look better from behind . . . still waiting on that one."
  4. "Blogging has turned me into one of those annoying amateur photographers that makes everyone pause every five seconds in order to "get the shot." I used to never take pictures, which I feel totally guilty about, and I'm making up for lost time. So if I'm holding you up on the sidewalk, I'm sorry. Just push right past me, it's going to be a while."
  5. "My favorite food, hands down, is peanut butter. Followed by almond butter and cashew butter. And if there's dark chocolate to go with it, even better."

Original recipe courtesy of The Hobby Room Diaries
For the printable recipe with a complete ingredient list and steps, please refer to the original recipe

3 Lemons for Zesting
There are 3 key parts to these Blackberry Fools: 1) Lemon Curd, 2) Blackberry Syrup and
3) Whipped Cream. Since the lemon curd has a requisite chill time of at least an hour, start
by making the lemon curd. And for this lemon curd, you will need fresh lemons for both the
juice and the flavorful zest.

Zest from 3 Lemons
Because I love lemon, I used the zest from 3 medium lemons.

Sliced and Zested Lemons
You will need 1/3 cup of lemon juice, which for me was about the juice from 2 medium lemons

Juice from 2 Lemons
Depending on the size of your lemons, you may need more or fewer lemons to end up with
enough zest and juice

5 Eggs
The next important part of the curd are the egg yolks. You will need five large egg yolks

Separated Egg Yolks
Separated egg yolks - you can always save the egg whites for meringues or omelets

Eggs and Sugar in Pot
Add the egg yolks and a cup of granulated sugar to a medium stainless steel sauce pan. Jody
optionally recommends using a double-boiler method for the eggs and sugar to avoid over-
cooking the egg yolks later, but I decided to be lazy to skip the double-boiler and just cook
the eggs over low heat. If you use the double-boiler method, you will want to add the yolks
and sugar to a separate heat-proof bowl (not a sauce pan)

Eggs and Sugar Whisked Together
Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and sugar together for 2-3 minutes until the yolks change in
color to a pale yellow and form a thick ribbon.

Lemon Juice and Zest Added to Egg Yolk Mixture
Add the lemon juice and zest

Egg Yolks and Lemon Whisked Together
Whisk everything together until smooth. Now you're ready to cook the mixture.

Cooking Curd Over Low Heat
If you're using a double-boiler, you will want to place your bowl over a pot of barely simmering
water (just make sure the bottom of your bowl does not touch the simmering water). If you
chose to skip the double-boiler as I did, place the saucepan with your egg mixture over
medium-low heat and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring nearly continuously.

Curd Thickening
The key to making a curd is not to end up with scrambled eggs, thus it's very important that
the yolk mixture not heat too fast, thus you will need to keep a very close eye on the mixture.
You don't need to stir vigorously, just keep the mixture moving...

Curd Thickened and Coating Spoon
Once the mixture has thickened and generously coats the back of a wooden spoon, the curd
is finished.

Instant Read Digital Thermometer
Use an instant-read thermometer to check the mixture. If it's at least 180F, the yolks are safe
to consume and you can remove from heat.

8 Tablespoons Unsalted Organic Butter
Next comes the butter which is what gives the curd it's glossy sheen and marvelous consistency.
I used fairly cool butter for my curd as it helps the egg mixture cool faster and allows the
butter to be more gradually incorporated into the curd.

Sliced Butter
Slice the butter into at least 8 pieces

Ready to Add Butter to Curd
Then add one piece of butter at a time to the curd, stirring to incorporate - do not add more
butter until the previous piece has been completely absorbed.

Stirring in Cool Sliced Butter into Curd
At first, the pieces of butter will incorporate quickly, but as the curd cools, subsequent pieces
of butter will take longer and longer to incorporate. That's perfectly fine and just be patience.

Lemon Curd Completed
Once all the butter has been added, you will arrive at a marvelously thick curd that's just
pourable. And so delicious. And it should even be room temperature by now if you were using
cool butter instead of room-temperature butter...

Room Temperature Curd Added to F-15-B Corning Ware
Pour the curd into a sealable dish, cover, and chill for at least an hour. You will be surprised
at how thick the curd becomes after chilling - the butter really helps set this curd...

2 Pints of Blackberries
While the curd chills, you can begin work on your blackberry syrup. You will need at least
2 half-pints of blackberries. If you decide to strain out the seeds from your final syrup, you will
likely need 3 half-pints...

Reserved Blackberries for Garnish
Reserve a few of the blackberries for garnishing later

Blackberries Added to Small Pot
Add the remaining blackberries to a small pot

Sugar Added to Blackberries
Add 1/4 cup of granulated sugar

Heating Blackberries and Sugar
Then cover the pot and place over medium heat until the berries begin to break down

Blackberries and Sugar Forming Syrup
Once the berries and sugar have begun to form a syrup, remove the lid and simmer for
about 10 minutes

Thickened Blackberry Syrup
Once the berries have broken down and the syrup has reduced, you will arrive at a thickened
blackberry syrup with chunks of berries (as pictured)

Cooling Blackberry Syrup in Water Bath
Remove the syrup from the heat and immediately place in a cold water bath (I used the sink).
Stir vigorously until the syrup is cooled to room temperature. It will now have thickened even
further. If you wish to strain out the seeds, do so before cooling the syrup in the water bath

Thickened Blackberry Syrup Cooled
Thick blackberry syrup - now you're ready to make the whipped cream.

1 1/2 Cups Organic Heavy Cream
There are just 2 ingredients to basic whipped cream - whipping cream and a little sugar

Heavy Cream in Bowl of Stand Mixer with Whisk Attachment
Add the whipping cream to a large bowl (I used my stand mixer with the whisk attachment)

Added Powered Confectioner's Sugar to Partially Whipped Cream
Whip the heavy cream on medium-high speed until it begins to thicken, then add your sugar.
I used 1 Tablespoon of powdered confectioners' sugar because I find it helps to stabilize the
final whipped cream, but you could also use granulated sugar for sweetener instead

Whipped Cream Holding Stiff Peaks
Whip the cream and sugar on high speed until it forms stiff peaks (as shown). Be careful not
to over whip at the end or you will arrive at a loose butter instead of whipped cream...

Chilled Lemon Curd Added to Large Bowl
Now you're ready to make the flavored whipped cream elements of the Fool. In a large bowl,
add 1/4 cup of lemon curd (4 Tablespoons)

Whipped Cream Added to Lemon Curn
Add half of the whipped cream to the lemon curd in the bowl

Whipped Cream and Lemon Curd Folded Together
Fold the curd and whipped cream together until uniformly mixed

Lemon Curd Added to Lemon Cream Mixture
Add another 1/4 cup of curd to the lemon whipped cream

Lemon Curd Partly Folded into Whipped Cream
And just fold together the curd and whipped cream until you have a streaked whipped
cream. I may have over-folded mine, but just a few turns of the spatula is all you really need

Blackberry Syrup Added to Remaining Whipped Cream
To the reserved whipped cream in your other bowl, add 2/3 of the blackberry syrup

Blackberry Whipped Cream
Fold together until you have a uniformly magenta mix - so good...

Building Blackberry Fool Parfaits
You're ready to build the Fool - it's basically like building a parfait. I used tall drinking
glasses for my Fools, but you could really use any dessert dish with tall sides. If you want
your guests to appreciate the layers, it's best if the dish is clear...
Add a layer of blackberry whipped cream for the first layer

Lemon Cream and Blackberry Syrup Added to Layers
Then add a layer of lemon curd cream followed by a hit of reserved blackberry syrup. Try not
to make a mess - you can see I was well on my way to messiness :)

More Layers Added to Blackberry Fools
Here's the end of my second tier of layers...

Blackberry Fools Ready for Garnish
Followed by a third tier of layers... You may notice the lemon curd cream is running a bit.
To avoid this, you would need to first chill the lemon curd cream before building the Fools.
I was too impatient and it's all going to taste the same anyway...

Blackberry Fool with Spoon
Garnish your Fool with reserved berries and devour. Or, if you have the will-power, chill the
Fools for 3-4 hours to really set the layers and provide a more pleasing texture.

Taking a Scoop of Blackberry Fool
I did not have the will-power to resist sampling at least one of the Fools. I barely had the will-
power to snap this picture before finishing the Fool!

Thoughts while scarfing...
  • You really must use blackberries for this Fool - the flavor pairing between the blackberries and lemon curd is phenomenal and just the perfect comforting combination. When I went shopping for ingredients, I had trouble finding fresh blackberries so I was about to give up and just use raspberries or blueberries instead. But trust me - stick with blackberries.
  • There are a lot of pesky seeds in blackberries, so if you're not a fan of crunching on itty-bitty seeds while noshing on layers of flavored whipped cream, I recommend sieving your blackberry syrup. And since the sieving process will dramatically reduce the total amount of blackberry syrup, you may want to use 3 half-pints of blackberries, instead of the 2 half-pints I used.
  • You can serve these the Fool immediately, but I actually think it tastes better after chilling for 3-4 hours - the layers really set up a bit better and it's a more pleasing textural experience. Besides, I think cold whipped cream (even when flavored) is just somehow tastier when it's nice and cold...
  • The best part of this recipe - lemon curd! I had never made lemon curd before but it's so simple and so delicious. It's easy to make and so delicious. And you only use half of the total batch of lemon curd, so you have plenty left over for snacking (or making another round of these sinful Fools)...


  1. Blackberry with lemon curd sounds and looks wonderful! It is such a perfect summer dessert! I love the step by step method shown here.

  2. It really was delicious, Asmita! I'm so glad you enjoyed and this definitely makes the list of desserts I'd make again during the summer...

  3. Jody_thehobbyroomdiariesAugust 8, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    Oh wow, that looks good! I'm glad it turned out so well. Thank you again for featuring my recipe and my blog!

  4. mjskit @ mjskitchen.comAugust 8, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    I was not at all familiar with Jody, so thanks for the introduction! I'll had over to check out her blog. This dessert sounds irresistible! I love a good lemon curd but like you, I've never made one. Thanks for showing how easy it is! Blackberries - my favorite! I don't mind the seeds in the least because the flavor is the best! Great Tuesday Tutor!!!

  5. My pleasure, Jody - your recipe (both parts) worked out wonderfully and I was so happy I could share!

  6. I'm so glad I could introduce you to Jody and this Fool - both are wonderful! I really do love the curd, although it does seem to become a bit granular after sitting in the fridge for a couple of days. It's probably best not to make it too far in advance of when you want to use it. And I left in the blackberry seeds, but sometimes they really annoy me when I'm in the middle of spooning down an otherwise smooth dessert ;)


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