Independence Day Icebox Cake
Looking for a festive end to your Fourth of July picnic? This decadent no-bake refrigerator cake wears all the colors of the American flag. Made with whipped cream, vanilla wafers and a trio of fresh berries, it's more like a trifle than traditional cake, but hot summer days call for something light.
I used strawberries from Simmons Farm and raspberries from Sand Hill Berries, both available at my local farmers market. The original recipe calls for arranging the berries in a stars-and-stripes pattern but this artistically challenged cook simply scattered them on top.
Don't worry about leftovers -- there won't be any, especially if there's teenaged boys at your picnic. A group of three, plus my daughter, polished off three-quarters of a cake in one sitting. Daughter's twin sister took care of the rest.
-- Gretchen McKay
12-ounce box vanilla wafers
1 pound strawberries, washed and hulled
3 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
Line sides of a 9-by-3-inch springform pan with strips of parchment paper. Lay half the vanilla wafers on the bottom of the pan in overlapping concentric circles.
Puree the strawberries in a food processor.
Whip the cream to soft peaks in a large bowl. Add sugar and whip again until just stiffened, do not overwhip. Transfer two-thirds of whipped cream to another bowl. Fold the strawberry puree into the remaining whipped cream.
Put 1 cup of whipped cream in a large resealable plastic bag. Snip off a bottom corner of the bag and pipe the cream over the wafers and around the inside edge of the pan to create a 1-inch-high dam. Pour strawberry whipped cream into the center of the pan and spread it out level with the dam.
Arrange the remaining cookies over the cream in overlapping concentric circles. Top cookies with the remaining whipped cream, spreading and smoothing it level with the edge of the pan. Arrange the blueberries evenly over one-third of the cream. Arrange the raspberries in 4 or 5 strips to create a flag pattern. (I simply scattered them on top, willy-nilly.) Chill for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
To serve, remove sides of the springform pan and parchment. Cut the cake into wedges.
Serves 8 to 10.
-- "Mad Hungry Cravings" by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan, 2013, $27.95)