Memorial Day is long behind us and the 4th of July is fading fast. All those wonderful holiday recipes of summer are now tucked away for yet another year. And yet some dishes are so wonderful, we can’t bare to let them slip into sweet memory.
Although this trifle is made with a Red, White and Blue color scheme, perfect for Memorial Day or the 4th of July, it is also the perfect summertime dessert. No baking – so you won’t be heating up the kitchen. Just about any fruit combination works well – maybe some raspberries, kiwi and bananas or even banana pudding instead of French Vanilla. Let your imagination run wild through the fresh fruit sections of your local farmer’s market.
I’ve made some sumptuous desserts over the years, spending hours on complicated techniques that required special equipment, a quick hand and steady eye. I’ve rose before the sun to toil away on spectacular finale to a perfectly planned meal. Who would have thought that a dessert that looks pretty, that is layered in textures, colors and flavors could have been so amazingly simple to make? This dessert may very well become a welcomed conclusion to barbecues all summer long.
Fresh Berry Trifle
2 packages (3.4-ounce) instant French Vanilla Pudding
3 3/4 Cup Whole Milk, very cold
3 cups fresh berries strawberries, washed and hulled, plus extra for garnish
2 cups blueberries, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Store-Bought Pound Cake
To make the pudding layer, empty the contents of the pudding packages into a mixing bowl. Add cold milk, whisk by hand to blend. Using an electric whisk, continue to whisk for about 2-3 minutes longer, until “soft” set. Place in the refrigerator to chill well and allow to thicken, about 30 minutes to an hour.
Rinse the blueberries and place in a non-reactive bowl. Slice the strawberries, then toss all of the berries with the lemon juice and the 1/4 cup of sugar. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the berries to release their juices.
In a medium mixing bowl, whip the cream, vanilla extract, and remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar until firm peaks form. Set aside.
To make the layers, slice pound cake into chunks or strips about 1/2 inch thick. Arrange sliced cake on the bottom of a large footed serving bowl (trifle bowl). Top with about a third of the berries along with their juices. Spread fruit over the cake to cover evenly. Spoon half of the pudding over the fruit. Add another layer of pound cake, another third of the berries and juice, and the rest of the pudding. Add a final layer of cake slices and berries. Top with the whipped cream. Garnish as desired with berries.
Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.