All the signs of a classic American summer are here – our blueberry bushes are ripening, there’s a BBQ every weekend, and we’re breaking out the flag for July Fourth.

With Independence Day around the corner, it’s a fitting time for a red, white and blue dessert, making use of what’s colorful and in season – strawberries, raspberries, cherries and/or blueberries.  Stacks of berry containers are filling my fridge right now – finding their way into salads, desserts and best of all – enjoying them as is. Our local chefs are using these sweet fruits too – keep reading for highlights of how berries are being dished out at Main Line restaurants.

This light-as-air summer berry trifle is so simple, looks stunning (and patriotic), and attracted so many compliments at recent family events, that I must share it with you. Make your pudding from scratch, bake an angel food cake, and whip your own cream if you must – but all-American Jell-O pudding and Cool Whip make this easy breezy … giving you more time to sit back, relax and enjoy the summer.

Summer Berry Trifle

Serves a crowd

Ingredients:

  • 2 store-bought angel food cakes (10 oz.)
  • 8 cups fresh berries of choice – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and/or cherries
  • Vanilla Jell-O Instant Pudding & Pie Filling (5.1 oz.)
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 container Cool Whip Lite Topping

Directions:

  1. Gently wash fruit and prepare as needed, hulling and slicing strawberries, removing cherry pits.
  2. Slice and dice angel food cake into large cubes.
  3. Whisk together pudding mix and milk; mixture will be thicker than regular consistency. Fold in the cool whip and place in refrigerator until ready to use. For the trifle, use a clear glass trifle or salad bowl.
  4. To prepare trifle, place a layer of cake cubes (1/3), a layer of fruit (1/3), and spread 1/3 of the pudding mixture. Repeat. Place remaining layer cake, then a layer of pudding and arrange fruit as the top layer.

Where to get your berry fix on the Main Line:

Teresa’s Next Door: Spinach salad with walnuts, Danish bleu cheese, strawberries, balsamic vinaigrette

Restaurant Alba: Mixed Berry Gratin Mascarpone Custard, Polenta Cookies

Nudy’s Café: Steak and Blue Cheese Salad with blueberries, dried cranberries, walnuts, crumbled blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette

Aux Petits Delices:  Tahitian vanilla sponge cake filled with kirsch mousseline, fresh strawberries, mangos, kiwi and raspberries.

Verdad: Strawberry habenero guacamole with house-made tortilla chips

McKenzie Brew House:  Key West Salad with Spicy Tuna, seasonal berries, mango salsa, candied walnuts, tomatoes, fresh greens and a honey lime dressing

Sullivan’s Steakhouse: Seasonal Mixed Berries with Vanilla Sauce and Mint

Aneu Bistro & Wine Bar: Strawberry Shortcake with macerated strawberries