Monday, June 30, 2014

A Berry Happy Fourth of July


One of my friends told me about a 4th of July dessert she saw somewhere. It happened to be made of all my mother's favorites (coincidentally, Lucy's favorites, too!) - fresh fruit, whipped cream, and a slice of cake. Sort of a cross between a trifle and a strawberry shortcake. A long narrow platter was lined with slices of cake. Fresh blue and red berries were heaped on top and it was served with whipped cream.

My July 3rd is going to be a busy day with appointments and errands. I suspect that most people who work in offices will be putting in a full day of work. They'll be hitting the grocery store Thursday night or Friday morning, so anything quick and easy will be appealing. This fits the bill perfectly. So easy to assemble but it's a showstopper.

I baked a simple loaf cake. If you're in a rush, pick up a Sara Lee pound cake in the frozen section of the grocery store. I won't tell. I sliced it and spread the slices out on the plate. Since there aren't any children partaking of it, I splashed a teaspoon or so of Chambord on top of each slice. Then I heaped strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries over the whole thing. Honestly, it could serve as a centerpiece. All the fruit is so pretty on top. You can spoon the whipped cream over it just before serving or pass a bowl of whipped cream, which might be easier.

For fun, I also made it in a dessert bowl. If you're having a more elegant dinner on the 4th, say in your penthouse overlooking the Iwa Jima Memorial where you'll be able to see the fireworks in the sky behind it, you might want to serve individual portions.

A couple of observations. Don't slice the fruit and don't macerate it. It will make the cake soggy. Also, be sure to dry the fruit after you wash it. I did not slice the strawberries but I did pluck out the hulls. They can be very pretty but not practical in a dish like this. In retrospect, I wish I had sliced each piece of cake just to make serving it easier.

Feel free to switch around the fruit proportions depending on what your family likes.


A Berry Forth of July Dessert

1 loaf cake
Chambord (optional)
8 ounces strawberries
12 ounces blueberries
6 ounces raspberries
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
vanilla


Simple Loaf Cake

2 1/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter softened plus extra for greasing pan
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan.

Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs, beating after each one. Alternate adding the flour and the milk. Bake for 1 hour and fifteen minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Run a knife around the edges before turning out of the pan.

Whipped Cream

Beat the cream until it begins to take shape. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat.

Assembly

Slice the cake and lay each slice flat (don't overlap the slices). Cut each slice in two or three pieces for easy serving. Sprinkle one teaspoon of Chambord over each slice. Beginning with the strawberries, heap the berries on the cake slices. It's okay if a few fall to the sides. Serve with whipped cream.

Bake a loaf cake.
Slice and lay flat on serving plate.
Or place a piece of a slice in individual bowls.
Wash and dry the berries.
Heap the berries on the cake.




Serve with whipped cream.



Happy 4th of July, everyone!

23 comments:

  1. I keep a Sara Lee pound cake in the freezer for desert emergencies. If you don't have fresh berries it's also good with lemon or orange curd.

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    1. Sara Lee makes a surprisingly good pound cake. I bet it's great with lemon curd!

      ~Krista

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  2. showstopper Krista--I'll be over the night you're serving that!!! xo

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    1. We're expecting you, Lucy. Bring Tonka.

      ~Krista

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  3. How easy and pretty is that??!!! Such a good idea and so simple, I would have never thought of it (I tend to over-complicate my life) and I do plan to give it a try.

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    1. Sharon, I know exactly what you mean about over-complicating things. I do the same thing. I love these easy dishes that are simple but have a wow factor.

      ~Krista

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  4. How pretty! And I bet it's delicious.

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    1. Thank you, Booklady. How can you go wrong with fruit and whipped cream?

      ~Krista

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  5. Simple, pretty, and delicious! A trifecta winner!

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    1. LOL! Thanks, Libby! Almost healthy with all that fruit!

      ~Krista

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  6. Pretty and patriotic. I've got some strawberries macerating in the fridge right now (just diced up and mixed with a tablespoon of sugar and they would be so good on pound cake with the juices soaking in. We do something similar in the wintertime with Ambrosia made up of citrus fruit and maraschino cherries instead of summer berries. I remember when my sister in law first started coming to family dinners, she was enjoying a bowl of Ambrosia and asked me if I liked it, too, and I told her I especially liked it on pound cake. Her eyes got wide and she said "There's pound cake?" and hustled back to the kitchen. She was new to the South but she fit in quickly.

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    1. Oh, that's such a cute story, Sandy! Gosh, I haven't had Ambrosia in forever! Must make it sometime.

      ~Krista

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  7. I think all desserts should be served in cute little glass dishes like that! And laughed out loud at SandyG265's comment: emergency Sara Lee pound cake. I keep an emergency bag of spinach. I must not be living right!

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    1. LOL! You're definitely not living right, Diane! I love the little glass dishes, too. They make everything seem special. Well, maybe not spinach.

      ~Krista

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  8. Love! It looks delicious and blissfully simple...and a great way to enjoy berries, which I can never get enough of.

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    1. I love berries, too, Maria. And cake. And whipped cream. I'll diet tomorrow.

      ~Krista

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  9. Berry happy is right! I love this, Krista. XO MJ

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