4th of July Treats
A traditional 4th of July is celebrated with food, time spent outdoors, fireworks, and full of friends and family. Although Independence Day looks and feels quite different this year, we can come together over food. We’ve put together this short list of recipes for you and yours to make to celebrate unalienable rights for all.
Patriotic Berry Trifle
- 1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 premade angel food cake, cut into 1-inch slices
- 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups heavy cream, at room temperature
- 2 pints blueberries
- 2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 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 the heat and stir in the almond extract.
- Brush both sides of each slice of cake with the syrup. Cut the slices into 1-inch cubes.
- Beat the remaining 2/3 cup sugar and the cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and light. Add the cream and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and the consistency of whipped cream.
- Arrange half of the cake cubes in the bottom of a 13-cup trifle dish. Sprinkle evenly with a layer of blueberries. Dollop half of the cream mixture over the blueberries and gently spread. Top with a layer of strawberries. Layer the remaining cake cubes on top of the strawberries, then sprinkle with more blueberries and top with the remaining cream mixture. Finish with the remaining strawberries and blueberries, arranging them in a decorative pattern. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Red, White and Blue Berry Pavlova
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Homemade whipped cream, fresh fruit, strawberry topping, lemon curd, or any desired topping
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (Preliminary note: you will quickly reduce the oven to 200°F (93°C) in step 4.)
- With a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar in 2 additions, beating for 30 seconds between, then continue beating on high speed until glossy stiff peaks form, about 2 more minutes. The peaks should be stiff enough that you can hold the whisk upright and the peaks won’t move. Add the vanilla extract and beat for 1 more minute. The peaks should still be very stiff. If not, keep on mixing on high speed. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cream of tartar and cornstarch.
- Spread the pavlova mixture into an 8-9-inch circle (see note for mini size). You can make decorative peaks with the back of a large spoon if desired. Make sure the edges are relatively tall and there is a nice dip in the center.
- Place pavlova in the oven. As soon as you close the oven door, reduce heat to 200°F (93°C). The pavlova will stay in the oven as it cools down to 200°F (93°C). Bake until the pavlova is firm and dry, about 90 minutes total. Rotate the baking sheet if you notice some spots browning. Try to limit how many times you open the oven as the cool air will interrupt the baking.
- Turn the oven off and let the pavlova cool inside the oven. Once the pavlova is cool, you can store it covered tightly at room temperature for up to 2 days. Or serve right away.
- Once cool, top the pavlova with whipped cream and assorted toppings. Slice and serve.
Red and White Caprese Salad
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 ripe tomatoes
- 12 ounces fresh mozzarella, thickly sliced
- Large bunch fresh basil leaves
- Olive oil, for drizzling
- Large pinch kosher salt
- Large pinch freshly ground black pepper
- Measure the balsamic vinegar and pour into a saucepan. Bring it to a gentle boil over a low heat. Cook it until the balsamic vinegar has reduced to a nice thick glaze (but still pourable), about 8 minutes. Allow the reduction to cool to room temperature before you serve it.
- When you are ready to assemble the salad, cut the tomatoes into thick slices. Arrange them on a platter, alternating them with the mozzarella slices. Tuck the whole basil leaves in between the tomato and cheese slices.
- Drizzle on the gorgeous, almost black balsamic reduction. Then drizzle olive oil in a thin stream over the top. Finally, sprinkle on salt and pepper. Enjoy!