When I was a kid we used to go berry picking. There were wild blackberry and raspberry bushes all over town. It was one of my family’s favorite things to do in the hours around dusk. Strawberry picking at Whittles Farm in Mystic, Connecticut was also a favorite pastime, although as I got older I became less excited about getting up in the wee hours of the morning to do it.
But berries are plentiful this time of year and I like finding new ways to enjoy them. I’m also a giant fan of the Ice Box Cake, which is a no bake, no fuss gem of a dessert typically made with layered graham crackers or vanilla wafers and either a cream or a custard. It is cured in the fridge by letting it sit for several hours so the cracker, wafer or cookie layers become softened.
Strawberry Ice Box Cake
2 lbs fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, sliced
3 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
24-28 whole graham crackers
(cocoa or chocolate – optional)
With a hand mixer, whip cream until it just begins to hold stiff peaks. Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla and whip to combine.
Spread a small layer of cream on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Cover with a layer of graham crackers. Lightly cover the graham crackers with a thin layer of whipped cream and then a single layer of strawberries. Repeat 3 times. Spread the remaining whipped cream over the top, add a few more strawberries and sprinkle with powdered cocoa, or drizzle with melted chocolate.
Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or until graham crackers have softened.