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Nothing says “summer” like fresh fruit in July! Right now peaches, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cherries have shown up at the Market just in time to grace your Fourth of July celebrations. And the best ways to use them are the simplest ways that take advantage of their fresh flavors and pair them with other items that are in season. Enjoy them while they’re here!

Mixed Berry Hobo Packs with Grilled Pound Cake

adapted from Food & Wine

Ingredients:

  • summer berries 1 pound of mixed berries cleaned (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • Four 12-inch squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Four 1/2-inch-thick slices of pound cake
  • Creme fraîche or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions:

  1. If using strawberries, remove the leaves and quarter them. You could even use other fruit like peaches, pitted and cut up in pieces.
  2. Light a grill. In a medium bowl, combine the berries with the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch. Spoon 1/4 tablespoon of the butter in the center of each sheet of foil and top with the fruit. Bring 2 sides of the foil up over the fruit and fold to form a seam across the top. Fold the remaining 2 sides to seal the hobo packs completely.
  3. Grill the hobo packs over moderate heat until the fruit is sizzling, about 10 minutes.
  4. Spread the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter on the pound cake and grill on both sides just until toasted, about 1 minute. Transfer to plates. Open the hobo packs and pour the berries and juices over the pound cake. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche or ice cream.

I would definitely try using fresh peaches or cherries in this recipe, both of which are in season now. Later on, apples, pears, grapes, and plums could be used in the same way although the more firm the fruit, the longer you might need to cook it to get the desired results. This recipe is so simple and can be adapted to use any type of seasonal fruit you find available. I even think you could substitute croissants or other good breads for the pound cake. Following are more delicious recipes for using summer fruit!

Orange and Basil Macerated Cherries

Blueberry Salsa

Double Berry Freezer Jam

Southern Peach and Blueberry Shortcakes

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

Blackberry Maple Syrup

Goat Cheese Cheesecakes with Summer Berries