Summer is just around the corner, and with summer comes visions of cool breezes, afternoons at the beach, sipping lemonade and fresh garden fruits. Sweet strawberries, juicy blueberries and luscious red raspberries plus other ripe summer fruits are the pinnacle to light, tasty and refreshing summer desserts. Served with a flaky biscuit, shortcake or just some fresh whipped cream, the flavor of fruit is always what takes center stage.
Whether growing your own or buying them from the produce department of your local grocer, there are a few things to look for. The fruit should be firm but not hard, plump and vibrant in color. There should not be any brown spots or blemishes. When buying berries, try to purchase them no earlier then the day before you are going to use them.
When washing them, be very gentle. Place a strainer with the berries in a large pot and cover them with cold water. Gently shake them and remove from the water. Spread them out on a paper towel to drain and absorb any excess water. Don't wash the fruit untill you are ready to use unless you are giving a party and need to prepare them slightly ahead of time. Do this earlier in the day and store between two paper towels in the refrigorator on a plate or plater. Do not pile them on top of each other or they might rupture or get soggy.
Some of our favorite summer fruit desserts are strawberry shortcake, strawberry rhubbarb pie, fresh berries over a citrus curd and blueberry cobbler.
Here is a recipe for Blueberry Cobbler: For the Topping
10 ounces all purpose flour
1/3 tsp salt
1 1/2 tblsp baking powder
2 ounces sweet butter
12 ounces heavy cream
For the Cobbler
9 ounces sugar
3 1/2 tblsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
9 ounces water
1 tblsp lemon juice
24 ounces fresh/frozen blueberries
For the Topping: Rub the flour, salt, baking powder, butter and cream together till it comes together and looks small pea sized. Hold in the frig till needed.
For the Cobbler: In a bowl, wisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, water and lemon juice. Place in a pot and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Place the berries in a 9 inch baking pan and pour the sauce over the top. Gently mix in the sauce with the berries. Evanly scatter the topping over the berries and bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for approx. 10 minuets till lightly golden brown on top.
Serve with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream.