I try to keep things simple if you haven’t already guessed from reading my tagline. I haven’t written anything in this category for a while, so I decided that sharing one of my simple recipes would be a good idea. My strawberry dessert is perfect for summer because it’s easy to make and easy to eat, and since it’s officially summer, it’s simply a perfect time to share.
I must confess right away that I am not a food blogger, nor am I a food photographer, so you’ll have to trust me that this dessert is much more enticing than my photo shows. If you don’t believe me, let me know in the comments, and I’ll round up some testimonials for you as soon as I run to the bank.
Also, this is a recipe that beginning bakers may want to try a couple of times before taking it to their next pot luck. Don’t worry. Your dry runs won’t go to waste. They will still be edible. I just want your dessert to look good in the pan.
I play around with the recipe just about every time I make it. It’s one of my mother’s recipes, and if you have ever gotten a recipe from your mother, you know what I mean. You take a little of this and a little of that, and then mix it together. And when you ask how much, it usually begins with “about.”
This happens to be a recipe that I took down over the phone many years ago before my mother had died. It was one I remember as a child that showed up frequently depending on what fruit was in season. When you take down a recipe over the phone, your recipe looks less like a recipe and more like a bunch of doodles.
Don’t worry, though. Over the years I’ve “stabilized” the recipe so I feel confident that if you’ve baked before, your baking reputation will remain intact.
My mom was a housewife and mother, so she cooked and baked all the time. When I was a child we rarely went out to eat. I don’t remember having store-bought bread for the first seven years of my life. Every week Mom baked bread, rolls and coffee cake. I remember being envious of kids who got to eat Wonder bread.
None of my mother’s recipes are overly indulgent or extravagant. I think her cooking and baking reflected her experience of living through the Depression. Whatever you cooked or baked, you tried to make it stretch, and you never wasted anything. If milk ever soured before we drank it, she would use it for her mahogany cake recipe. With this recipe I tend to add more fruit and use a smaller pan. Her chocolate chip cookie recipe, I have always doubled. Over the years, I continue to modify her recipes depending on how I feel at the moment.
Refrigerated Strawberry Dessert
(Feel free to name this anything you like.)
You can use raspberries, peaches or nectarines. I would peel the peaches or nectarines.
1 pkg graham cracker (crushed into crumbs, reserving 2 T. For topping)
4 T. melted butter
1 T. sugar
16 large marshmallows
1/4 C. milk
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 pint berries, washed and cut into quarters (more depending on your preference)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put metal bowl and beaters in the refrigerator to cool. (Handy tip before you beat whipping cream is to chill your bowl and beaters.)
Combine the marshmallows and milk in a saucepan over low heat and melt the marshmallows. You can start this before you make the crust because it needs to cool.
Combine first three ingredients (except the 2 T. Reserved crumbs). Press into an 8 x 8 inch pan, spreading up the side a little. My mom used a 6 x 8 pan I think and the dessert was thinner.
Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Beat the whipping cream in the cooled metal bowl to whipping cream consistency. I guess that would be considered stiff peaks. Fold in the marshmallow mixture. Fold in the berries.
Pour into pan after the crust has cooled. Sprinkle the reserved graham cracker crumbs on top. Refrigerate.
I love this recipe because the ingredients are simple, you use the fruit that’s in season, and the dessert is cold and light which is perfect for summer. We need to take our daily ten minutes and enjoy our simple pleasures or life will overwhelm us.
Let me know if you have a favorite recipe that’s easy to make and delicious to share.