Monday, July 4, 2011

Patriot Parfait

For the Fourth of July, I usually like to make some sort of red, white, and blue dessert.  Y'know, to be thematic and all.  This year's Independence Day weekend was particularly awesome: yesterday I got to be the guest of honor at my bridal shower, I got to spend time with three of my closest friends (and bridesmaids) who kindly schlepped into DC from afar for said shower, and it was a perfect chance to relax and have fun before we leave for Colorado in three weeks.

After my friends got back on the road this morning, I decided it was time to get some flowers (a vase I got yesterday was asking -- nay, begging -- to be filled) and start thinking about dessert plans.  Since I was tired from a whirlwind weekend, and since my soon-to-be Hubs and I both hate crowds (and if there's one thing about DC on Independence Day, it's that the whole place is one teeming mass of tourists who're all crowding in to get a good look at the fireworks) we decided to stay in and have a low key night.

Per my usual during the summer, I had visions of berries.  And ice cream.  Coconut ice cream.  And a raspberry sauce that I saw Ina Garten make on an episode of Barefoot Contessa that I caught a few weeks ago.  So, off to the store I went.  Off into the vortex that is our local Whole Foods.  Into the writhing masses of stressed humanity that descend on this Whole Foods in advance of any holiday (or snowstorm).  Thankfully, the trip was a fast one.

Once I got out of there and returned home, I tried to recreate Ina Garten's raspberry sauce from memory.  It was, uh, a bit of a challenge -- and it didn't even occur to me to look it up on teh Interwebz.  (Oy vey.  Mental note to self: Google is at your disposal at times like these.)  At a critical juncture, I thought I remembered her putting raspberry jam into the recipe, so I frantically looked around the fridge -- but there was no raspberry jam to be found.  Sooo...I grabbed the almost-empty jar of strawberry jam instead and scooped out every last ounce.

"Oh, that's right - I pretty much never buy raspberry jam. Maybe this'll work instead."

Happily (and to my surprise), it all turned out well: the sauce was tangy-sweet, and it topped off this parfait of patriotic glory perfectly.

Red Berry Sauce
Loosely adapted from Ina Garten's raspberry sauce

1 six-ounce container fresh raspberries
1/8 Cup sugar
1/8 Cup agave nectar
2 Tablespoons strawberry jam

Put all the ingredients into a small pot and place over medium heat until boiling gently.  Let it simmer until the raspberries have broken apart and the mixture is starting to get thick and syrupy.  (It'll get watery at first, but that's ok -- it'll thicken up!)

Remove from heat, put into a glass container, and store in the fridge for 2 hours.

Patriot Parfait:
1/2 Cup fresh blueberries
1 scoop Coconut Bliss vanilla ice cream (it's lactose and gluten free, so it's both GF and vegan friendly...not to mention ridiculously delicious.)
2 -3 Tablespoons Red Berry Sauce
Sprinkle with toasted almonds

Scoop the Coconut Bliss into a glass (or, really, the container of your choice), cover it with the blueberries, and top with the Red Berry Sauce.  Sprinkle toasted almonds on top, watch fireworks, and enjoy!

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