The hairy, red-skinned rambutan yields sweet, juicy and translucent flesh. When cutting it up for this recipe, you might not be able to avoid bits of the soft-skinned seed within; that's okay. Pastry chef Michelle Garbee says it will add a slightly nutty flavor to this light and airy dessert.
The pomelo sections will yield some juice; save this to add to sparkling water for a refreshing drink.
The fool can be made a day in advance; cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Servings: 6 - 8
- For the citrus macaroons
- 8 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) sugar
- 4 to 5 (1/2 cup) egg whites
- 1 cup shredded or finely grated unsweetened coconut
- 1 ounce (3 tablespoons) flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Finely grated zest of 1/2 a medium orange (about 1 teaspoon)
- For the fool
- 1-pound (1 mesh bag) rambutan
- 1 large pomelo
- 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon dark rum
- Finely grated zest of 1/2 a medium lime
- Finely grated zest of 1/2 a medium orange
For the citrus macaroons: Heat 1 to 2 inches of water in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Combine the sugar and egg whites in a medium bowl; place the bowl over the saucepan (creating a double boiler) and cook for a few minutes, stirring, just until the mixture is foamy and warmed through. Remove the pan from the heat; add the coconut, flour, salt, vanilla extract and orange zest, stirring to combine; there will be about 2 cups of batter. Let set for 30 minutes at room temperature.
When ready to bake, position an oven rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner. Work in batches, if necessary. Scoop tablespoon-size spoonfuls onto the baking sheet, spaced 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are just lightly golden and crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside; they will spread slightly; do not overbake. Let cool completely on the sheet, then transfer to an airtight container until ready to serve.
For the fruit: Use a sharp knife to open the spiky rambutan peel; carve away the translucent flesh from its seed in the center and coarsely chop; place in a medium bowl (there should be about 1 cup's worth). Use a knife to peel the pomelo, discarding the peel and any white pith. Cut open each segment and gently pull apart and discard the interior pulp. As you work, place the pomelo segments in a fine-mesh strainer suspended over a cup if you want to reserve the juice for another use (there should be about 1 cup of pomelo sections).
For the fool: Have ready 6 to 8 dessert bowls.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or a hand-held electric mixer, combine the cream, sugar and rum; beat on medium speed just until stiff peaks form. Stop the motor; fold in the zests, rambutan pieces and drained pomelo sections. Divide among individual bowls and serve with the citrus macaroons on the side.
Adapted from Michelle Garbee, pastry chef and co-owner of Bastille restaurant in Alexandria.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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