America’s most patriotic day is upon us, and if you don’t already have plans to make a red-white-and-blue dessert, it’s time to make one.
The most classic Independence Day dessert has to be the flag-themed Cool Whip cake that features blueberries and strawberries that (somewhat) resemble a flag. Beyond that, however, you’ll find a whole array of other colorful desserts that are perfect for a potluck, backyard barbecue or even a picnic.
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If you’re sticking close to a freezer, consider this raspberry Campari sorbet, whose vibrant color will draw as many “ooos” and “ahhhs” as the fireworks. You could use strawberries instead of raspberries and still keep the flavor, but be sure to strain out the seeds of both for the best texture. The bright red Campari, an Italian aperitif, isn’t there only for the flavor. The alcohol actually makes the sorbet smoother.
For an even boozier treat, you could serve a scoop of this in a small glass with a floater of limoncello or other liquor.
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Raspberry Campari Sorbet
I am a sucker for bitter paired with sweet, and I choose my cocktails with that in mind. I had a wonderful Campari, gin, soda and raspberry smash at a friend’s house that inspired me to add a little Campari to my raspberry sorbet. A little alcohol makes for a smoother texture in frozen desserts. You could use neutral-flavored vodka instead, but the bitter note of Campari makes the raspberries in this frozen treat bounce with flavor.
— Nicole Rucker
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 pounds fresh ripe raspberries
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Campari liqueur or Gran Classico Bitter
Pinch kosher salt
Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and cold water and set a clean medium-size bowl inside it. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring 2 cups water to a boil, add the sugar, and stir. Continue cooking until the mixture is completely clear and all the sugar has dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat and pour it into a heatproof bowl. Cool the syrup to room temperature.
In a blender, puree the raspberries with the syrup until smooth. Scrape the puree through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard the seeds. Stir the lemon juice, Campari and salt into the raspberry puree and cool the fruit mixture in the ice bath until the mixture registers 40°F on an instant-read thermometer. Alternately you can cool the mixture to room temperature and refrigerate it overnight or for at least 6 hours.
Transfer the mixture into the bowl of a 2-quart ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions until almost set but still a little slushy, about 25 minutes. Transfer the sorbet to an airtight container and chill it in the freezer until completely set, about 1 hour, before serving. Makes 2 quarts.
— From “Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers” by Nicole Rucker (Avery, $32)