There is something special about late spring, with sunny summer knocking at your windows, particularly when the sweet fruits harvests begin to ripen. Birds know how tasty they are, the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries and such.
But if you’re lucky, your local market will have fresh berries on hand and just like that, you have the opportunity to offer family and friends something special to celebrate anything you want: Father’s Day, Flag Day, Birthday, Get Togethers and any other parties… June wedding, perhaps?
The following recipes are
QUICK, EASY WHITE CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH BERRIES
The berries make it extra special
1oz white chocolate baking bar (from 6-oz package)
3/4 C soymilk
1box (4-serving size) white chocolate instant pudding and pie filling mix
2C frozen (thawed) fat-free whipped topping
Fresh or frozen and thawed berries: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc., your choice
Grated white baking bar, if desired
In 1-quart saucepan, place 1 tablespoon soymilk and 1 oz baking bar. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until baking bar is melted and mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat 3/4 cup soymilk and the pudding mix with wire whisk until mixture is blended and thickened. Stir in melted white baking bar mixture until well blended. Fold in whipped topping.
To serve, spoon into individual dessert dishes; serve immediately or refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, top with berries; sprinkle with grated white baking bar if you like. Makes 6 desserts.
WHITE CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY MOUSSE
This is light and delightful for a summer lunch outside
11/2 lbs of fresh strawberries
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
8 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
11/4 tsp. unflavored gelatin (about half a small envelope)
2 C. heavy cream
2 Tbsp powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
Clean and hull the strawberries. Starting with about half of the strawberries (3/4 pound), quarter them and purée them in either a blender or food processor. Then press the purée mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl. You should end up with 1 cup of purée.
Stir in 1 Tbsp of the lemon juice and set aside. With the remaining 3/4 pound or so of berries, slice as many as will fill 2 cups; Set aside. Melt white chocolate in a double boiler, or a stainless steel bowl set over simmering water Stir until smooth, set aside.
Put 1/4 cup of cool water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin powder over the water and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir 1/4 cup of the cream and the 2 Tbsp of powdered sugar in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin has dissolved.
Pour into the bowl of melted chocolate, and stir until smooth. Whisk in 3/4 cup of the strawberry purée. Reserve the remaining 1/4 cup of purée.
Using an electric mixer, whip the remaining 1-3/4 cup of cream. Beat on medium-high speed until medium peaks form. Whisk one third of the whipped cream into the white chocolate mixture. Then, using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Stir the remaining 1 Tbsp of lemon juice into the reserved sliced berries. Gently fold the sliced berries into the mousse. Spoon mousse into serving cups and refrigerate for at least another hour, preferably several hours, or overnight, covered with plastic wrap. Makes 6-8 desserts.
Use the ripest, juiciest strawberries for this cocktail.
1 6-oz. container fresh strawberries
!/2 C sugar
2 C gin
1 C fresh lime juice
8 sprigs sweet basil
Purée strawberries and sugar in the blender. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 10 minutes. Strain the purée through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher; there will be about 3/4 cup and discard the seeds in the sieve.
Stir gin and lime juice into a pitcher. Divide the drink among ice-filled glasses about 3/4 to the rim. Top with club soda. Garnish each cocktail with a basil sprig. Makes 8 cocktails.
Note: This refreshing cocktail will carry you through the summer because any ripe, juicy, fresh berry, such as raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, will make a delicious drink. Adjust sugar as needed and try the fizz with fresh, seeded, sweet cherries.