These 2 ‘berry delicious’ dessert recipes are perfect for Spring

Local News

Spring is here, and that means it’s time for berries. Chef Lesli Sommerdorf from Harmons, joined Brian Carlson and Emily Clark, in the kitchen with some berry delicious recipes.

Berry Napoleon

Serves 4-6


3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced

1 cup fresh blueberries

6 Tbsp powdered sugar, divided

1 lemon, zested and juiced

1 (14-oz) sheet store-bought puff pastry, thawed

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 Tbsp vanilla bean paste or extract

1 Tbsp minced fresh mint leaves


In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries and blueberries with 2 tablespoons sugar and the zest and juice from the lemon. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Unfold the pastry on a flat surface, roll it to a 12″ by 15″ rectangle and cut into three even 12″ by 5″ rectangles. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and freeze, 20-25 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Dust the puff pastry with 2 tablespoons sugar. Cover the pastry with a wire baking rack to prevent puffing as the pastry cooks. Bake until golden brown, 22-25 minutes. Remove the rack and let cool.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form, 3-5 minutes. Add vanilla and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Fold in mint leaves.

Place a spoonful of the whipped cream in the center of a rectangular platter and top with one sheet of puff pastry. Spoon over half of the whipped cream in the center leaving about 1 inch clear around the edges. Arrange about 1/3 of the fresh berries on top of the cream in rows. Top with another sheet of pastry and repeat with the remaining cream and another 1/3 of the berries. Add the last piece of pastry glaze-side up. Top with the remaining berries and serve immediately.

Berry Amaretto Cheesecake

Serves 8-10


3 oz amaretti cookies

2 oz honey graham crackers (about 4 whole crackers), coarsely crushed

Pinch of kosher salt

5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 tsp unflavored powdered gelatin

3/4 cup chilled heavy cream

2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese

3/4 cup sugar

Pinch of kosher salt

1/4 cup mascarpone cheese

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


1/4 cup honey

1 cup raspberries

1 cup blackberries

2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus ribbons for garnish

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor with the blade attachment, pulse the amaretti with the graham crackers
and salt until finely ground. Transfer the crumbs to a small bowl and stir in the butter. Press the
crumbs evenly over the bottom and halfway up the side of an 8″ springform pan. Bake until the
crust is set, about 10 min. Cool on a rack.

To make the cheesecake, in a microwave-safe dish, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of
cold water. Let stand until the gelatin is softened, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small
bowl, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form; refrigerate.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the cream cheese, ricotta,
sugar and salt and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add mascarpone and lemon juice
and beat to combine.

Microwave the gelatin until melted, 5 seconds. Scrape into the cream cheese mixture and beat
until incorporated. Fold in the whipped cream. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and
smooth the surface. Refrigerate the cake until firm and set, 3 hours.
To make the fruit, in a medium saucepan over high heat, add the honey, 1 cup water, the
berries and 2 tablespoons basil. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring
occasionally, until the honey is dissolved and berries have broken down a bit, about 3 min. With
a slotted spoon, transfer the berries and basil to a bowl. Boil the syrup until thickened, about 5
min. Serve the fruit and syrup over the cheesecake and garnish with basil ribbons.

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