Summer Berry Afters

A collection of delicious post-dinner treats from some of Virginia’s agricultural finest.

When the heat index reaches triple digits this summer (as it always does in our fair state), there’s no better way to cool off than by indulging in cool classic desserts made with succulent fresh berries grown right here in the Commonwealth.

With strawberries at their ripest through June, and blackberries and raspberries staying sweet through the late summer months, now is the perfect time to include these freshly-picked treats in your post-dinner dishes.

From a raspberry parfait to a dessert pizza made with strawberries (no need for the sauce and cheese!), we’ve gathered recipes from our friends at Carter Mountain Orchard, Chesterfield Berry Farm and Market, Agriberry CSA Farm and Peaks of Otter Winery that are redolent of berry-laden summers past. Not only will these satisfy any sweet tooth, they will give you a delicious reason to stay in the kitchen and avoid the summertime heat!


Carter Mountain Orchard


1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

4 egg yolks beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

4 egg whites

1 cup sugar

strawberries, crushed

1/2 cup sweetened whipped cream

Cream together butter and one-half cup of the sugar. Mix in the egg yolks, vanilla, salt, flour, and baking powder. Batter will be stiff. Divide batter and spread in two greased and floured layer cake pans. Use wet fingers to spread batter evenly in pans. Beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually add the 1 cup sugar. Spread meringue on top of batter in pans. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. When cool, place one layer with meringue side down. Cover with crushed strawberries and whipped cream. Place other layer on top with meringue side up. (Submitted to Carter Mountain Orchard by Catriona Tudor Erler)


Chesterfield Berry Farm and Market


For the crust:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine; melted

1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans

1 tablespoon sugar

For the filling:

1 8-ounce package cream cheese; softened

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1 8-ounce container whipped topping

1 pint whole strawberries

For the topping:

1 pint chopped strawberries

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2-3 drops red food coloring; optional

Mix crust ingredients. Press into pizza pan or large pie pan. Bake 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool. Make filling by creaming cheese with sugar. Fold in whipped topping. Spread on cold crust. Arrange 1 pint whole strawberries (without hulls) on top of cream cheese mixture (You may slice the berries if you prefer). In a saucepan, combine all topping ingredients and cook until thick. Spread on top of pie. Refrigerate.


Agriberry CSA Farm


2 pints black or red raspberries

3 cups whole milk

8 large egg yolks

2/3 cups sugar

1/4 cups cornstarch

1/4 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 tablespoon dry orange rind or 1 tablespoon fresh orange rind

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat milk in saucepan until hot but not boiling. While the milk is heating, in a heat-proof bowl combine egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt with a whisk until smooth. When milk is hot enough, add one cup of the milk in a stream to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Once thoroughly blended, pour in the rest of the milk. Return the liquid to the saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until thickened, about 10 minutes. The temperature of the custard should be 170 degrees: do not allow it to boil. Immediately force custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic or wax paper on the custard’s surface. Chill until cold and thickened, 3 hours minimum. Wash and drain your raspberries. Toss with a light sprinkling of honey and sugar. Set aside until custard is ready to serve. Layer custard and berries into parfait glasses and serve.


Peaks of Otter


For the filling:

3 cups fresh blackberries

1 cup sugar

4 tablespoons plain flour

1/2 cup Peaks of Otter Blackberry Cobbler Wine

Place berries in pan and heat on medium flame. Mix dry ingredients. Add to berries and stir. Add Peaks of Otter Blackberry Cobbler wine. Reduce heat to low and stir occasionally. Reduce for 10 minutes until berry mixture begins to thicken. Spray 10” square baking dish with PAM and add berry mixture.

For the crumb topping:

1 cup plain flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch salt

1 egg

1/2 stick butter

Mix dry ingredients. Break egg on top of dry ingredients. Mix with fork until crumbly.

Sprinkle crumb topping over berry mixture. Melt 1/2 stick butter and pour over crumb topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Pair with Peaks of Otter Café Vino.


(from the June 2010 issue of Virginia Living)

Chef J Frank

4 cups currants

2 cups raspberries

2 cups strawberries

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the berries with sugar and marinate 15 minutes to release their juices. Add 1 cup water, bring to a simmer and simmer on low for 8 – 10 minutes. Mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup water, add to the simmering fruit mixture and simmer for 2 more minutes. Add lemon juice and vanilla. Once partially cool, fill into appropriate vessels and refrigerate overnight. Serve with heavy cream (preferred), whipped cream, vanilla sauce or plain yogurt.

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