The Lazy Girl's Fourth of July Dessert
When I was kid I would visit my paternal grandparents pretty regularly. My grandmother, Doris Eleanor, was the epitome of 1950s housewifery. She would even wear her dresses, three-strand pearl necklace, and heels when they went on vacation, including camping. She was invested fully in her family, and loved baking for all of us. She was such a lovely person and I'm sad to say she's no longer with us, but my memories live on. A favorite memory is when I would arrive to my grandparents house and my grandmother would have strawberry shortcake waiting for me because she knew it was my favorite. Now when summer hits, I have to have something strawberry. The cake for my baby shower last summer was strawberry, and my birthday cakes are always strawberry. So when thinking about a Fourth of July dessert, I immediately thought of strawberries, and of my grandmother's shortcake, but with the ultimate lazy girl twist.
This lazy girl's twist is a necessity at the moment. Before I moved to D.C. I never understood why Washingtonians considered themselves Southern. Aren't Washingtonians just East Coasters? But no, they aren't. They're Southerners and East Coasters, and now I understand why. I didn't know I needed that in a place until I moved here, and what luck, it is what I completely needed. The swamp (which has yet to be drained) lends the area its Southerness. The light, the cicadas, the fireflies, the magnolia trees, and the smatterings of y'alls I often hear tell me it is indeed Southern. However, it's the East Coast too. All of the lobster rolls, whoopie pies, crab cakes, the preppy dressers, and the popularity of rowing and crew make it the perfect combination of South and East. But this is a long way of telling you that it's fucking hot. It's so hot. So so hot. So really, I absolutely cannot be bothered to turn on my oven at the moment, and really, neither should you. Here's my twist on a long-time favorite dessert in both laziness and thematically appropriate Red, White, and Blue. Enjoy!
Lee Clark's Lazy Fourth of July Dessert
1 Angel Food Cake/Pound Cake/Shortcake
Note — Must be store bought. I have a favorite Italian grocery store where I picked up angel food cake but I would have purchased whatever looked best. I suggest you do the same.
Note — Normally I would have done strawberries only (see: above) but to make this red, white, and blue I added raspberries and a smattering of blackberries and blueberries.
Note — I prefer to make my own vanilla whipped cream, it is often quite different from store bought but sometimes you can find in-house made whipped cream. Whatever you do, just don't buy a can of something at the store. It's woefully inadequate especially if you consider how terribly easy it is to make whipped cream.
240ml/1 cup of Heavy Whipping (Double) Cream
1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar
Note — I like to use powdered (icing) sugar as it melds with the whipping cream flawlessly.
1 to 2 tablespoons of vanilla
If making the homemade whipped cream, whisk the cream until soft peaks form. I chill the whisk and bowl in the freezer for fifteen minutes, this helps cut down the time, which is quite preferable if you're doing this by hand. Then add your sugar and, if using, vanilla. Beat again until soft peaks form, and voila! Delicious homemade whipped cream. Now that you know how to do this, you'll find yourself doing it too much and eyeing berries in your fridge in a whole new way. I'm so sorry I've done this to you.
Assemble in a beautiful fashion! That's really it. Do what you prefer, and here is what I prefer...
I love raspberry sauce/smashed raspberries so I take a pint of raspberries and smash them into oblivion and top my cake with the raspberry sauce followed by the rest of the berries and too much (not a thing) whipped cream. Last night I cursed myself for not thinking to fold in the smashed raspberries into the whipped cream, so I'm going to do that next time. At the very end, like my grandmother Doris Eleanor always did, I pour some milk over the cake to make it a bit soggy. It makes all the difference, especially when you have a teeny tiny adorable milk pitcher, like I do, for aesthetic's sake.
I hope you've enjoyed this lazy dessert, and make it what you will. With ingredients like this there's no wrong answer, so play around, have fun, and eat some delicious easy food! xx, Lee