When berry season arrives and they become much more affordable, my family and I turn into berry gluttons.
We love them year round, but it's such an indulgence to shovel in handfuls of what may be one of the most luxurious and perfect fruits of the summer.
Straining the pureed berries may seem like an extra step, but the reward is one of the simplest and most plush desserts you can imagine. And if you have an electric mixer, whipping the cream into peaks happens in short order, so this is a quick dessert to make. You also could use one type of berry instead of two, if that's what you have.
Don't overbeat the whipped cream or it will turn into butter; stop just when you reach the stage where the peaks of the cream stand up when you pull away the whisk from the bowl and barely curl over at the tips.
And don't overfold the whipped cream and pureed berries; blending them just until they swirl together but remain a bit separate results in gorgeous streaks that make this a real "oooh" and "aahh"-er of a dessert.
Summer berry fool
Start to finish: 1 ½ hours
2 cups fresh blackberries
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon Chambord, or other berry liqueur
1 cup any kind of fresh berries for garnish
Puree the berries in a food processor. Strain them through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, using the back of a spoon to press the mixture against the mesh. Press through as much of the mixture as possible. Scrape all of the berry puree from the bottom of the strainer, and discard the seeds.
Pour the cream in a bowl, add the sugar, orange juice and Chambord, and use an electric mixer or a whisk to beat the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the berry puree into the mixture until it is mostly incorporated but still streaky, which is very pretty.
Spoon into six glass or custard cups, and chill for 1 hour, or up to 4. Serve cold, garnished with the remaining cup of berries.
Nutrition information per serving: 341 calories; 271 calories from fat; 30 g fat (18 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 110 mg cholesterol; 31 mg sodium; 17 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 3 g protein.
Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, "Dinner Solved!" and "The Mom 100 Cookbook." She blogs at http://www.themom100.com/about-katie-workman/