Thursday, June 28, 2012

Happy 4th of July Dessert Recipes

Happy 4th of July weekend! This time of year is one of my favorites...Mema and Bepa Patterson live on a small lake in Michigan, and we have shared so many fun memories there: hot sunny days swimming in the lake, boating, skiing, jet-skiing, tubing, kayaking, fishing, sand-castle making, playing soccer, card games, sitting on the porch, enjoying the beautiful view and sunset....We are typically barefoot all weekend, grass between our toes, relaxing in the hammock, enjoying the delicious (often local) produce: fresh watermelon, corn on the cob, peaches, blueberries, as well as special pies, cakes, and desserts our Mema Patterson so generously prepares for our visit, to celebrate both the 4th of July and family summer birthdays.  This is the quintessential weekend to celebrate summer, so I wanted to share some VERY simple and delicious dessert recipes using fresh seasonal produce...

Apple and Blueberry Crumble (my FAV)

The following recipe (modified from a Barefoot Contessa Peach and Blueberry pie recipe) yields enough for one regular pie PLUS one smaller pie (for neighbor, friend, etc.)

For the Fruit:

4-5 large fuji apples (peeling optional), diced
2 containers blueberries (rinsed)
2 T lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour

For the Crumble:

1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 lb (1 stick) softened butter, diced
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
  2. Lightly spray pie dishes w cooking spray.  
  3. In large bowl, combine diced apples, blueberries, lemon juice, sugar, and flour.  Mix gently and set aside.
  4. In smaller bowl, combine all ingredients for the crumble, mixing well with wooden spoon.
  5. Gently pour fruit mixture into the two pie dishes.
  6. Using a spoon and optionally your fingers, spread the crumble topping over fruit.
  7. Bake at 350 for approx 1 hour, or until top is lightly browned/crisp.
  8. Be sure to place a cookie sheet on a rack underneath to collect overflow.
  9. Serve with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Red-White-and-Blue Cake

Our Mema Patterson always makes this delicous and festive cake for the little ones.  It is so beautiful and always a hit!

Store bought yellow cake
Cool whip topping
  1. Bake yellow cake according to box directions.  
  2. Let cool.  
  3. Spread cool whip over top.
  4. Decorate with blueberries and strawberries, either in random pattern, American flag, stripes, etc.

Chocolate Berry Parfait

1 1/2 cup cold milk
1 pkg. (4-serving size) JELL-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 cup thawed Cool Whip, divided
32 Nilla wafers, divided
2 cups mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries)

  1. Pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with whisk 2 min or until well blended. Gently stir in 1/2 cup of the whipped topping.
  2. Spoon half of the berries into 8 parfait (or large wine) glasses. Top evenly with half the pudding mixture. Reserve 8 wafers for later use. Stand 3 of the remaining wafers around inside edge of each glass. Repeat layers of berries and pudding mixture.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Top with remaining whipped topping and reserved wafers (one on top of each) just before serving.
Makes 8 servings.

Some pics from this year's festivities:

Watching the fireworks at Clague Park (unintentionally only yards away from where they were shooting them off, just beyond a gathering of trees, so we could not see) was by far the LOUDEST fireworks I have ever heard in my life....Earth-shaking, heart-stopping poor kiddos (2 out of 3) were terrified!! Hopefully, I have not ruined the 4th of July holiday for them!

At my husband's Uncle's house, on a lake just outside Cleveland...we have gone the last few years around the 4th, and our kids always have a ball, swimming, boating, playing on the beach, etc.

Some pics of prior 4th of July weekends:

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