Upon returning home, we all sat down at the kitchen table and capped the strawberries. As we capped them, Katie shoveled the juicy fruit into her mouth as fast as she could. By the end of the afternoon, she was covered in strawberry juice from her hairline to her belly-button.
For the first time ever, I made strawberry freezer jam, using the directions in a box of sure-jell. I would love to post pictures, but thrift got the best of me and I "canned" my freezer jam in gladware instead of the cute little Ball jelly jars. If anyone wants to send me an i-love-you present, then a couple of sets of jars would be greatly appreciated.
Last night, I also baked an angel food cake in preparation for my Mother's Day trifle. Oh my wow... it was so delicious! I first ate angel food cake as a preteen. The cake was purchased from the nearby convenience store that everyone would hang around after school hours. It was prepackaged, airy deliciousness. I had never tasted it before and I longed for it many times thereafter.
While angel food cake was widely available at the grocer, my mother would never purchase it. She preferred those little spongy rounds that are sold near the strawberries every spring. Shortcake in our home was nowhere near homemade.
One year, she did try to make actual shortcakes using Bisquick, but it didn't turn out well and everyone refused to eat them. I swear, one of those little cakes could have broken a window, had it been tossed in the right direction!
Personally, I prefer the combination of angel food cake, sugar-coated strawberries, and redi-whip. But, canned whipped cream wouldn't hold up to setting as a trifle, so I went the cool-whip route instead. My trifle consists merely of cubed angel food cake, strawberries, and cool whip. I left out the jello, pudding, cream cheese, and other concoctions that I found online because, to me, they weren't very classic. The result was absolutely delicious.
If you slow down and use room temperature whip, your version will look much nicer. But, I was in a rush and I licked my fingers a lot.
Berry Whip Trifle
4 cups strawberries, capped and halved
1 angel food cake (see recipe below)
1 container cool-whip
Layer ingredients as desired, starting with the cake and ending with the cool whip. Add whole decorative strawberries on top. Refrigerate overnight. Serve cold.
Angel Food Cake
1 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
- While eggs are cold, separate them. Discard yolks or refrigerate for another use (not sure what. I tried to make a yolk-heavy ham and cheese omelet for breakfast this morning and it was inedible. Well, the kids ate it... but anyone with particularly developed taste buds would not have. I promise you.) Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl and let them stand at room temperature for about an hour, or until you remember you were going to bake a cake.
- Meanwhile, mix together confectioner's sugar and flour together. You could sift them if you're really special, but I just flopped a fork around in the bowl a few times and it was fine. Maybe it could have been better, but honestly-- I don't see how.
- Add cream of tartar, extracts and salt to egg whites; beat a minute or so on high speed. If you have a stand mixer, turn that baby all the way up and just let it fly. Don't let it fly too high, though, or you won't have room for the sugar. (It is best to use the flat whisk-y attachment, not the balloon whisk for this) Gradually add sugar, beating hard until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Again, don't get distracted.
- Fold in flour mixture, 1/4 cup at a time.
- Gently spoon into an ungreased 10-in. tube pan. Cut through batter with a knife to remove air pockets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
- Flip cake out of pan while still warm. You may need to run a knife around the sides to loosen it, too.