Capital tastes

Includes: Bev’s Summer Berry Trifle recipe   

I just spent a fun-but-hot summer weekend in D.C., punctuated by Smithsonian gallavanting, visits with friends old and new and family, and, of course, good eats.

In between museums Saturday we took advantage of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to lunch on ethnic goodies. I had a fresh but forgettable Pad Thai, but a memorable mango with sticky rice made up for it.

Mango and sticky rice is my mom’s all-time favorite dessert. (I love it, too, but still have to place brownies as my #1.) It must be kind of hard to screw up, because I’ve never really had a bad one.

If you haven’t tried it before, don’t be put off by the description, because it tastes 100 times better than it sounds.

A small mound of translucent and almost shiny, glutinous Asian rice — sticky by nature, but also due to the addition of coconut milk and sugar — with slices of ripe mango served alongside.

The rice is rich and sweet and hard to resist on its own. But paired with the equally sweet and velvety-slick mango — what a taste and texture sensation!

And that’s it. I’ve never seen extra garnishes, flavor twists or other attempts to “chef up” (as Lewis likes to say) mango and sticky rice. Looks plain and simple, but tastes heavenly. Even when served in a styrofoam takeout container with plastic forks in 93-degree weather …

Dinner than night was courtesy of General Phil and his trusty aid Tech Sergeant Bev, whose food skills I’ve mentioned here before. (See the “mini treats” portion of this post.)

Grilled steaks for the others and salmon for me, topped with Bev’s chimichurri sauce. Phil also roasted asparagus, and we filled out the al fresco dinner with a delicious pasta salad (also courtesy of Bev) and really yummy Italian and French wines.

But the piece de resistance was Bev’s summer berry trifle.

That’s what I’m dubbing it, anyway — I’m not sure what she calls it.

For the life of me I couldn’t figure out the creamy part, as it was slightly more dense and more complex-tasting than plain ol’ whipped cream (which I’m not knocking, of course).

Bev was happy to share the recipe and delighted at my rhapsodizing about the dessert, telling her about eating it two nights in a row and being so taken with it that I completely forgot to take a photograph! (Sorry.)

I wish I had a Bev fairy to come into my imaginary professional kitchen and leave behind goodies for my guests and me to enjoy later … ahhhh.

But in the meantime, I’m going to make this perfect summer dessert myself, very soon.

Bev’s Summer Berry Trifle

Makes a large quantity

  • large pound cake
  • large tub of whipped topping, or the equivalent of fresh whipped cream
  • lots of mixed berries (she used 2 containers of blueberries, 1 of raspberries, 2 of blackberries and 1 large container of strawberries, sliced)
  • 8 oz. of jarred or homemade lemon curd*
  • 4 oz. of your favorite jam (she used strawberry-rhubarb)

Heat half the jam in a microwave-proof bowl for 30 seconds, until it’s liquidy. (If it’s not, add a little water.)

Next, slice pound cake into quarter-inch slices. Smother with heated jam and let sit while you prepare the rest. This helps the pound cake soak up the goodness, says Bev.

Toss berries together in a bowl. Whisk lemon curd in a separate bowl — this helps break it up and prepares it to meld better with the whipped topping/cream. Then use a rubber spatula (not a whisk) to mix together the curd and whipped topping/cream.

Finally, assemble the dessert. Pound cake first, followed by berries, then whipped topping/cream. Repeat, ending with a pile of berries on top.

*Terry’s note on lemon curd: I’ll be buying it. I looked up recipes and although they don’t sound hard, they do seem like a pain in the ass.

About atarheeltastes

I'm a passionate foodie who started this "temporary" blog during a gustatory tour of Tuscany. I decided to continue, since I love to dream about, plan for, prepare, eat and write about food!
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