Happy Fourth of July! I hope you have plans to be waving flags and grilling out and watching fireworks and attending a parade in your hometown this weekend – we certainly do. In fact, our neighborhood hosts a bike and wagon parade for the little ones that is the cutest thing ever. There are more red, white and blue t-shirts and hair bows and bike decorations than you can shake a sparkler at! We have a fire truck leading the parade and a cookies and lemonade party at the end complete with a rendition of God Bless America sung by a neighbor who just so happens to be a professional opera singer (really!). Then everyone heads off to various parties and backyard celebrations where it’s rumored this trifle just might make an appearance this year.
This dessert is a teensy bit indulgent but what dessert worth its calories isn’t?! It’s predominantly angel food cake and fruit which are about as virtuous as dessert gets. And if you compare it to last year’s Martha Stewart Flag Sheet Cake which I made to rave reviews, it’s practically health food! Enjoy the long weekend, and celebrate your freedom with red, white and blue wild abandon.
Note: If you don’t already own a trifle bowl, they are easy to find for relatively little money at stores like Target or Bed Bath and Beyond.
Patriotic Berry Trifle
Adapted from The Food Network
1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 store bought angel food cake, cut into 1″ slices
1 pound cream cheese (2 blocks), at room temperature
2 cups heavy cream, at room temperature
2 pints blueberries
2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced
1. To make the syrup: heat 1/4 cup sugar, the lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in almond extract.
2. Brush both sides of each slice of the angel food cake with the syrup. Cut the slices into 1″ cubes and set aside.
3. Beat the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar and cream cheese with a hand mixer at medium speed until smooth and light. Add the heavy cream and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and the consistency of whipped cream.
4. Arrange half of the angel food cake cubes in the bottom of a 13-cup trifle dish. Sprinkle evenly with a layer of blueberries. Gently spread half of the cream mixture over the blueberries. Top with a layer of strawberries. Layer the remaining cake cubes on top of the strawberries. Add another layer of blueberries and gently top with the remaining cream mixture. Finish with the remaining strawberries and blueberries, arranging them in a decorative pattern.
5. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.