It's summer! Finally! I'm basking in the warmth of the sun. I'm in love with all the brightly colored produce at the farmer's market. The berries are local, sweet-as-candy, and a deep, ripe red. The blueberries pop in my mouth, surrendering their sweet juices. The raspberries are vibrantly tart and sweet. It's the perfect time to have a barbecue (or at least a supper out on the patio,) to celebrate the season! I need a simple dessert that tastes like the height of summer, and this red, white, and blue-hued Berry Trifle is just that. Fresh vibrant berries, clouds of whipped mascarpone cream, and squidgy pieces of cake come together in 15 minutes to create this dreamy Berry Trifle: An impressive, layered masterpiece that tastes as good as it looks.
Notes: The only special equipment needed is a trifle dish (or a large glass bowl), so that the beautiful layers can be seen. Purchased pound cake or angel food cake make this a no-bake dessert, but Polenta Cake with Olive Oil and Lemon is perfect for this berry trifle and makes it extra-special. It's easy to make - just stir together the ingredients and bake. The Polenta Cake is extra moist from the olive oil and holds up well in the trifle layers thanks to it's sturdy texture from the polenta.
Read More: The Shared Holiday Barbecue
Time: 15 minutes
3/4 pound raspberries
3/4 pound strawberries, tops removed and sliced
3/4 pound blueberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar, divided use
1/4 cup fresh orange juice, divided use
One recipe Polenta Cake with Olive Oil and Lemon or 9" loaf purchased pound cake, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound (16 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam or currant jelly
Combine strawberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 2 tablespoons orange juice in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine raspberries with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons orange juice. Set bowls aside.
Using an electric mixer, whip together confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, mascarpone cheese, and lemon zest at medium speed until well combined. Add heavy cream and continue to mix at high speed until the mixture is fluffy like whipped cream.
To assemble the trifle: Arrange 1/3 of the cake cubes into a 13-cup trifle dish (or a large glass bowl). Next, pour in the strawberries and spread to make an even layer. Spread 1/2 of the whipped mascarpone cream over the strawberries in an even layer. Arrange half of the remaining cake cubes evenly over the cream layer. Top the cake with all the raspberries to create another even layer. Spread the remaining whipped mascarpone cream over the raspberries. Add the remaining cake cubes evenly over the cream. For the final layer, distribute the blueberries evenly over the top.
Melt the jam in a small dish in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat. Using a pastry brush, anoint the blueberries with the melted jam to give them a sweet, glossy glaze.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.