A Festive Fourth of July Dessert
I love a good backyard cookout, with endless variations on burgers piled sky-high with hickory smoked bacon, sautéed Walla Walla sweet onions, and sharp cheddar—all of it layered within a warm brioche bun. And let’s not forget the hot dogs slathered in pickle relish and mustard, the all-important potato salad, and grilled sweet corn.
And at the end of all of this smoky grilling is dessert. There have been years where I’ve grilled everything, including dessert. But nothing really wows a crowd like an angel food cake. Artfully adorned with red and blue summer berries, this humble, easy-to-prepare dessert is transformed into an enchanting nod to the stars and stripes.
Pair with a light, convivial bottle of Rosé of Pinot Noir. — Christine
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CREPES
1 1/2 cups egg whites, around 10-12 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups baker’s ultra-fine sugar
1 cup cake flour
INGREDIENTS FOR THE TOPPING
2 cups fresh organic raspberries or strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 cups fresh organic blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoon lemon zest
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup crème frîache
salt and pepper to taste
Powdered sugar to dust the cake with
1 Nordic Ware Heritage Bundt Pan or similar
Preheat oven to 350°
In a medium-sized bowl, whip the egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form. Then add 1/2 cup sugar and beat on high, until stiff peaks form.
Gently beat in the vanilla extract, lemon juice and salt. Whisk the remaining sugar and flour together in a bowl, and then add 1/3 of the egg whites. Using a rubber spatula, stir until all of the ingredients are evenly combined. Fold in another third, until just combined, then gently fold in the last third. Transfer to a greased bundt cake pan. Bake until lightly browned, and a toothpick inserted halfway between the edge and center tube comes out clean, about 1 hour.
Cool the cake for 10-15 minutes before demolding it onto a cake stand. While the cake is cooling, beat the cream, crème fraîche, and vanilla in a medium bowl until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
In a small bowl, toss together the berries, sugar and lemon zest and set aside.
Fill the center of the cake with the whipped cream mixture, about 1 cup of it, and then arrange half of the berries over the top. Lightly dust the cake with powdered sugar and serve immediately.